New report casts critical eye on Leveson Inquiry & suggests it is a clampdown on press freedom
WORLDbytes, the online citizen TV station, has today launched a programme which attacks the Leveson Inquiry. The programme suggests that far from being an independent inquiry into media practices, this is a clampdown on press freedom and a tabloid witch-hunt we must resist.
BThe programme is set up as an on-the-sofa discussion. Spiked writer Patrick Hayes presents the chilling implications of the Leveson Inquiry to a group of volunteers who respond with their concerns. As English poet John Milton said, “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties”, Hayes argues that a free press is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy and should be defended against all forms of regulation. Hayes attacks the Leveson Inquiry for its elitist snobbery and contempt for the public and whilst some on the sofa do not agree with him, the charity and its Citizen TV station do.
In the wake of hackgate, the Leveson Inquiry was set up to investigate the events which led up to the hacking of missing school girl, Milly Dowler’s phone by News Of The World journalists. Yet what prevails, Hayes explains, is a full-blown inquiry into the ethics and culture of the British press. As witness testimonies continue to pour forth from celebrities and politicians with an axe to grind, the inquiry is now probing into not just the methods journalists use to get information, but the stories that papers print. No longer an Inquiry into phone hacking he tells us, Lord Justice Leveson’s investigation should leave us wondering about the future of press freedom itself.
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