6 October 2011

LEVESON INQUIRY - Day 1 - Seminar 1

Lord Justice Leveson

(from left) journalist George Jones; Shami Chakrabarti, the director of human rights group Liberty; former chairman of the Financial Times, Lord Leveson, Sir David Bell; Lord Currie, the former chairman of Ofcom; former chief constable of West Midlands police, Sir Paul Scott-Lee; and Elinor Goodman, former political editor of Channel 4 News. Photograph: Getty Images

Live Blogging from the Guardian - to be found here.

Press Inquiry >> Leveson Inquiry Briefing - Regulatory Systems

Seminar 1 : Competitive Pressures on the Press and the Impact on Journalism

The Free Speech Blog: Official Blog of Index on Censorship >>Some Points from the Leveson Inquiry (06/10/2011)

The Importance of a Free Press - Alan Rusbridger - Statement to the Leveson Inquiry (06/10/2011)  - Guardian

Leveson Inquiry: Phone-hacking Was Not Caused by Newsroom Pressure - Phil Hall  - Telegraph

Trevor Kavanagh's Speech to the Leveson Inquiry : Full Text - Guardian

Leveson Inquiry Could Become a Tabloid Witch-hunt, Warns Sun Veteran Trevor Kavanagh - Guardian

Sun Editor: Celebrity Reporters Operate Just Like Political Hacks - Guardian

Leveson Inquiry: Trevor Kavanagh Leads Tabloid Fightback - Press Gazette 

Professor Brian Cathcart's Talk at the Leveson Inquiry Seminar - Hacked Off 

Leveson Inquiry: Newspapers Play Down Charges of Inaccuracy - Full Fact 

Full Report of the First Leveson Inquiry Seminars - Hacked Off 

Video Recordings of Contributions to Seminars at Leveson Inquiry - October 6th (with thanks to PressInquiry)

Victims' Stories - Hacked Off 

Two extracts from Richard Peppiatt's speech to the Leveson Inquiry (Full speech available in article for Huffington Post UK) :
"In approximately 900 newspaper bylines I can probably count on fingers and toes the times I felt I was genuinely telling the truth, yet only a similar number could be classed as outright lies. This is because as much as the skill of a journalist today is about finding facts, it is also, particularly at the tabloid end of the market, about knowing what facts to ignore. The job is about making the facts fit the story, because the story is almost pre-defined. Laid out before you is a canon of ideologically and commercially driven narratives that must be adhered to. The newspaper appoints itself moral arbiter, and it is your job to stamp their worldview on all the journalism you do.
If a scientist announces their research has found ecstasy to be safer than alcohol, as a tabloid reporter I know my job is to portray this man as a quack, and his methods flawed. If a judge passes down a community sentence to a controversial offender, I know my job is to make them appear lily-livered and out-of-touch. Positive peer reviews are ignored; sentencing guidelines are buried. The ideological imperative comes before the journalistic one – drugs are always bad, British justice is always soft.
This ideological imperative is bound to a commercial one, founded on one main premise: It is easier to sell people something that reinforces their beliefs and prejudices than to sell something that challenges them.
Your success as a reporter is determined by how well you apply this philosophy to your news judgements. Pitch a story to your newsdesk about a peace conference in Wembley attended by thousands of Muslims, you’ll likely get more sneers than you will paragraphs in print. Pitch a story about a three Muslim men shouting “death to infidels” outside a courtroom, you’ll likely be brought a pint and given the front page.
..typically news stories are passed down the chain of command rather than up, with reporters being assigned stories by their editors. It is here that many of the worst journalistic and ethical failures occur.
News editors, keen to appease their superiors with eye-catching news lists, dump the onus on reporters to stand-up their fantastical hunches and ill-informed assertions. The question is not: “Do you have a story on X?” It is “Today we are saying this has happened to X -make it appear so.” "

Press Inquiry
finishes up, says session has achieved "broad and open discussion of a number of very important issues". More to come on 12 Oct

Twitter Feeds to Follow : (or on Twitter #leveson)
(Hacked off)
Amelia Hill
(Guardian journalist)
Ed Fraser
(Channel 4 Head of Home News)
james robinson
 (Guardian media Correspondent)

(FT Media Correspondent)
Mark White 
(Sky Home Affairs Correspondent)
(From Full Fact)
Website : http://pressinquiry.org/

T Portilho-Shrimpton
(Coordinator of Hacked Off Campaign)
(Daily Mirror associate editor, New Statesman columnist)
 (Diector, Media Standards Trust)