For years, they have been calling for something to be done about Google and Facebook, arguing that both steal their content while luring away their advertisers. The result has been falling profits for “old media” and consequent closures of regional and local titles accompanied by a sizeable reduction in the number of journalists, rightly described by May as “a hollowing-out of newsrooms”.This is hardly a new story, and there has been plenty of political lobbying from publishing organisations in order to persuade the government that their industry’s decline requires attention.These pleas for action have been couched in terms of a warning that the nation is in danger of losing its “free press”, which, to quote the Daily Mail, therefore represents an “insidious threat to British democracy”. A free press, eh? Would that be the press owned and controlled by rich men – yes, men – or profiteering conglomerates that have been propagandists for a “free market” and opposed all regulatory intervention?Would that be the free press that has traditionally championed business competition and praised the virtue of technological innovation in other industries where jobs have been wiped out?It was noticeable that May also ignored such ironies when contending that the decline of newspapers is “dangerous for our democracy” and that the loss of “trusted and credible news sources” makes us “vulnerable to news which is untrustworthy”.
Given that untrustworthy news has been the stock in trade of national titles like the Mail for generations it was hard not to laugh at her disingenuousness.
Friday, 9 February 2018
LEVESON buried as government goes for Google
UPDATE: Former Labour Leader Ed Miliband (or 'Red Ed' as the right-wing red-tops would have it of this very 'centrist', at least politician who opposes Jeremy Corbyn's left-wing policies) has called for Leveson2 to happen.
Great quote on IPSO - he wasn't impressed when the Mail branded his father a traitor. He tweeted and gave media interviews to counter that rather than trying IPSO.
The Leveson inquiry must be completed. The victims of phone-hacking deserve nothing less
UPDATE2 A vote could back Impress as the compulsory regulator, and another make papers pay legal costs whether they win or lose any case.
Government faces possible defeat on press regulation votes
Nor can we take comfort from the response to Leveson part one. The press declined to set up the kind of independent regulator that both Leveson and parliament wanted to see. Instead we have Ipso, a toothless organisation that, despite bold promises, has yet to impose a single fine or deliver a single equal prominence front-page correction in a national paper. There are also significant issues around the lack of rules or redress around much of the news on social media.
Greenslade's view that the press inquiry announced by UK PM May marks the death, or at least the long-term parking (surely a Labour victory would see Leveson resurrected?) of Leveson2 seems about right.
His Guardian column is occasional rather than daily these days but always worth looking out for. As a former national newspaper editor himself he reliably skewers the realities of this cantankerous industry and it's billionaire figureheads, gladhanded as they are by regimes of a non-socialist bent.
Interesting that the press' extreme aversion to political scrutiny means it mostly failed to imbue May with lavish praise for meeting a long-term demand, an inquiry into the leeching of the new media titans of press content and finance.
This is, nonetheless, a strong sign of the press' continuing current grip over their ideologically matched right-wing Tory government. Obvious echoes here of the timid burial of Calcutt2 nearly 30 years ago when a declining Tory government took years to respond to Calcutt's demand for a new review, as agreed in his original report, when he noted that press behaviour had not substantially altered, then quietly announced there would be no such review.
Here's a snippet: