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There is bound to be a way in which the press can continue to do its job while being restrained from its worst excesses. So much here is emotion, bringing in alcohol costs old boys networks, conspiracy theory, all the tired old cliches which simply confuse the issue. Levinson need to be examined and discussed rationally and intelligent decisions made. Making decisions based on confusion and accusations is useless and will not serve anyone's interests.
Newspapers are businesses. They exist to make a profit. If they do not, they die. The excesses they commit are to attract readers from one paper to another. If readers were not attracted by this behaviour the papers would not do it. People like to read this stuff. If people did not buy and read the stuff that everyone hates so much, so they say, there would be no incentive to do it.
When Princess Diana died in Paris, it was blamed on the paparazzi and therefore the press. Given the outpouring of hatred worldwide against the paps, it is obvious to anyone that newspaper sales with their pictures in, the wrecked car and so on, would plummet. No-one would want to read or look at the pictures taken by these vile individuals because....er..er..except sales of newspapers and magazines with these pictures in soared. I can't imagine who was reading them because everyone agreed these were pictures that shouldn't have been printed.
The hypocrisy of the British knows no bounds when it comes to talking about their reading habits. The British public are up in arms about the excesses of the press. Which papers commit the greatest excesses? The ones that sell the most.
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Quote: The hypocrisy of the British knows no bounds when it comes to talking about their reading habits. The British public are up in arms about the excesses of the press. Which papers commit the greatest excesses? The ones that sell the most.
I don't get that either Lemmy - just who is buying these papers?
While we are talking about press freedom, I know this was not in the remit of Leveson - but should the tabloid press be regulated to be politically neutral?
Or does the traditional election day 'Vote Liberal Troy Labour' headlines at least highlight the political opinions of whatever paper mouth-peace you happen to be reading/wiping your bum with?
Quote: politically neutral
If you can define it....
Quote: just who is buying these papers?
So far as the national dailies are concerned, less than 10 million people, in a population of 60 million, and the numbers have been falling for several years. (If I have my arithmetic right)
Figure from here
Of course the numbers reading them will be larger, but I think studies have shown that newspaper reading is now a minority pastime.
Consequently I don't see any hypocrisy - if half the population complain about newspapers, and the other half read them, there wouldn't be. But if only one sixth actually pay for them, what I don't see is how they're considered so important, or how they think that lowering their standards will improve their sales.
Well perhaps they've decided most people are a lost cause, and they are publishing for a minority and don't care about anyone else, but that doesn't mean the majority should just let them get on with it.
And perhaps they are important because their readers are enough to swing elections, but the same comment applies.
Quote: While we are talking about press freedom, I know this was not in the remit of Leveson - but should the tabloid press be regulated to be politically neutral?
There is not and never has been any remit on the press to be politically anything. In a free society people are able and should voice their opinions. British newspapers reflect those opinions right across the spectrum.
As mikehit says, the phrase politically neutral cannot be defined because it has no meaning. What a communist considers right wing bias could be what a BNP member considers dangerously left-leaning. Politically neutral means 'neutral from my personal point of view'. That is no neutrality at all since everyone's 'my point of view ' is different.
I am astonished that when you look at MP's expenses, banker's excesses, the police Hillsborough scandal - the only way we know and get to do anything about them is through a free, if unruly press. And yet we hear people who want them regulated. There are many bankers, politicians, local councillors who would love to see a regulated press - regulated by them - but I'm amazed that there should be so many people in the country ready to support them.
Incidentally, just been listening to a skit on tabloid papers and they always use a sort of rough and ready south London yobbish sort of accent for the journalists. I always laugh because if you walk into any tabloid paper's newsroom you will see a staff comprising nicely spoken privately educated folk for the most part. In my long 45 years experience of Fleet Street, the most disreputable and untrustworthy group as a whole were the old Etonians.
I don't think we need new politically motivated laws, we must remember that if it wasn't for the press probing deeply we never would have learned about MPs fiddling their expenses. There is a great danger with a polictically controlled press in as much as 'the powers that be' could then stop publications about their behaviour that they didn't feel we should know about. They have this arrogance, that they know better than we and would not hesitate to use such laws to protect their misdemeanours.
I know they have misbehaved but the law is there to be used if required. There is no such thing a poliically-neutral control so I guess the law should be toughened up, the will of the police to arrest and prosecute as well. One last thing, longer prison sentences for such law breaking otherwise it may be considered worthwhile paying the price is all you get is a slap on the wrist which is far too prevalent now.
Quote: Cameron would rather punish us all by increasing the cost of alcohol.
Following on from the Scot Nats who have already done it
Quote: existing laws could be used to control excessive drinking in our city centres
remind me, who was it changed the law on drinking hours so that 24 hour boozing is now possible
just in case your memory fails
Quote: Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell told BBC Newsnight the new law was necessary "to make it possible for the vast majority of people who drink but who never get into trouble to have more freedom as to when they drink".
and this is what the Police said at the time
Quote: Britain's most senior police officer said he was worried his force's resources would be "stretched", particularly in the early hours of the morning.
Glasshouses and Stones spring to mind
If I understand correctly, Leveson called not for legal (political ) control of the press but for an independent press commission that had option of statutory powers if it was needed to bring the press into line. Where would the political interfierence come in?
Quote: .....if the politicians, the press AND THE POLICE are in bed together.
As if ! .....sounds like a good tabloid headline brewing there -
"Politician beds policeman - full report from our man in the bedroom"
Quote: I am astonished....
Well don't be. No-one's saying the press should be shackled but when you look at some of the despicable acts carried out in the name of 'free speech', I can't see how the press can carry on as if nothing happened and that everything's alright now.
Clearly, self-regulation wasn't working. However, and in deference to those against regulation, the perpetrators have been found out and are being dealt with, so one could say the system works....to a point. After all, it was a newspaper that exposed this scandal. But surely the PCC cannot carry on in the way it did before. As someone's said, it cannot be right that a governing body is able to mark its own homework.
Quote: But surely the PCC cannot carry on in the way it did before
No, as you imply, it really can't. Rebekah Brooks (Wade, as she was then), went on holiday with the chairman of the PCC on a couple of occasions.
It was the same as Gordon brown cosying up to the bankers, unacceptable and the people involved should have known better. As should Cameron in his mixing socially with Mrs Brooks and Murdoch's son. Even if there was not corruption they should have known how it would look. But we are now busy building a society where those who have are pulling up the drawbridge behind them so that the have nots do not even have the opportunity to catch up. They really don't care what we think.
The media in its many forms used to be a great outlet for the talents of ordinary kids who could start out as messengers, work hard and show their talents. The best picture editor I ever worked for started out as a picture desk runner. Now the whole business is taken over by the privately educated sons and daughters of metropolitan middle class families. Who else can afford to work as an 'intern' for a year or more earning nothing?
I think it is perfectly possible to regulate the papers without muzzling them. The broadcasters have had a regulatory body for years yet they still produce hard hitting investigations. The people who will lose will be the tabloid readers whose papers will wither on the vine without the celeb/ paparazzi material. And who will scream loudest? The very celebs who are getting publicity at the moment shouting how they have been badly treated. One thing I can say from personal experience.
There is only one person more angry than a celebrity who has been photographed when they didn't want to be - that's a celebrity who has been ignored
Quote: If I understand correctly, Leveson called not for legal (political ) control of the press but for an independent press commission that had option of statutory powers if it was needed to bring the press into line. Where would the political interfierence come in?
Would it be that politicians appointed the commision?
Part of the problem is the tabloids helping create "celebrity culture". These people, who some years ago would never even have surfaced much less become household names, are the very ones who try to manipulate the media to further their own careers. How shocking that the media should develop their own opinion and agenda which might not be the same direction as the celeb wants. The media feel that as they were the ones to create the personality, they should be the arbiters of whether they remain one. Mentioning Princess Diana above is a case in point of a fluctuating relationship with the press.
I don't for one moment condone what they did, and some things were downright wrong and criminal, but shackling the press is the first step on any dictatorship's agenda: manipulating output to what the government wants. A free press is the only way to keep the democracy we enjoy. If anyone thinks the press won't continue to use underhand methods, whatever the legislation, they are sadly deluded. Punishments can be severe, but as in the past, those caught will just end up moving jobs to similar ones elsewhere. The public must bear some responsibility, as without the demand for the large amount of tripe produced, the press wouldn't bother producing it. As is, it sells papers, and that's all journos want to keep employed.
Too many people don't think too deeply about a subject, just jumping on the bandwagon and regurgitating opinions of others as if they were the gospel truth.
Personally, I don't consider the opinions of single papers alone, preferring instead to read around different sources and make my own mind up. And I like the crosswords!
Quote: The people who will lose will be the tabloid readers whose papers will wither on the vine without the celeb/ paparazzi material. And who will scream loudest? The very celebs who are getting publicity at the moment shouting how they have been badly treated. One thing I can say from personal experience.
So.... What are the negatives of muzzling the press?
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