6 December 2011

Leveson Inquiry: Hearings - Day 12


"I want this inquiry to mean something", not end up as "footnote in some professor of journalism's analysis of 21 century history." LJ Leveson in reply to A Rusbridger's submission to Inquiry.

Lord Justice Leveson
The Panel : top row (left to right)
  • Shami Chakrabarti, director of human rights group Liberty
  • George Jones, former Daily Telegraph political editor
  • Sir David Bell, former chairman of the Financial Times
Bottom row (Left to right)
  • Elinor Goodman, former Channel 4 political editor
  • Lord David Currie, former chairman of Ofcom
  • Sir Paul Scott-Lee, former West Midlands chief constable
 The proceedings are shown here live on the Leveson Inquiry website. 

BBC Democracy Live Leveson Inquiry live-feed here.

Full list of Core Participants to be found here. (Guardian Website)

Relevant links from mainstream media, blogs and social media:

(Twitter feed for Leveson Inquiry on right of Home page of this (#pressreform) blog.) 

Leveson Inquiry Witness List - Week beginning 5.12.11 

Leveson Inquiry Witness Statements  

Videos of Each Hearing on Official Leveson Inquiry Website

Follow Leveson Inquiry on Twitter - #leveson #Leveson 

Dan Sabbagh (Guardian) on Twitter 

Guardian Live Blog
Guardian Leveson Inquiry Round-up Page 

Telegraph Live Blog on Leveson Inquiry and Profiles of Today's Witnesses

Leveson Inquiry - Evidence, Weeks 1 and 2 - a Crash Course on the Ways of the Tabloids - Inforrm's Blog 

Video : BBC - BBC News Programmes - BBC News Special: the Phone-hacking Inquiry 

BBC News - Phone-hacking Scandal: Who's Linked to Who? (excellent interactive graphics)

Application to Leveson Inquiry by Full Fact For Amendment of Restriction Order 

What do You Do When an Entire System Fails? - David Allen Green for New Statesman 

Mosley Hatches a Plan to Make the Papers Pay - Independent

Ministers Told to Stop Leaks to Journalists - Independent

The Bureau, Bell Pottinger, Babies and Bathwater - The Free Speech Blog

I've Seen the Future and It's Crap, Michael Williams - BJR 

Churnalism Tool mentioned in Chris Atkins' Evidence Today (via Media Standards Trust)
How the Papers Responded to Our Churnalism Complaints - Full Fact

Tuesday 6th December 2011 - (Blog for Day 11 to be found here)

Today's witnesses: Chris Atkins, David Leigh (Guardian), Steven Nott, Charlotte Harris

Profiles of Today's Witnesses from Telegraph Live Blog
Profiles of Those Appearing Today at Leveson Inquiry from Guardian Live Blog
Phone-hacking Victims' Lawyer Set to Give Evidence to Leveson Inquiry - Evening Standard
BBC News - Daniel Morgan Murder: Family Meeting Home Secretary Today

Chris Atkins, film maker

Witness Statement in Full

From Guardian Website:
"Chris Atkins is a London-based film-maker. He has worked as a producer on three films for writer-director Richard Jobson (Sixteen Years of Alcohol, Sixteen Years and A Woman in Winter) and wrote and directed the low-budget feature Feedback, which premiered at the Edinburgh film festival. His lastest film, Taking Liberties, is a political documentary about the erosion of civil liberties under the Blair government."

Guardian Live Blog of Chris Atkins' Evidence - to be without video or audio feed, although journalists allowed into Inquiry room

'Starsuckers' Debate on Newsnight - Youtube

T Portilho-Shrimpton
CA: Guardian helped with release of the film and Channel 4 bought the rights for TV. No one else wanted to know about it

Fuel to the Fire - Article by Atkins on 'Churnalism' - via Media Standards Trust

Churnalism Tool mentioned in Chris Atkins' Evidence Today (via Media Standards Trust)

Chris Atkins: Sometimes I Want to Punch People Who Make Technology - Guardian

'Blair is an Idiot' - Documentary by Atkins 2007 - Guardian 

Eye for Film: Chris Atkins Interview on 'Starsuckers'

From Guardian Live Blog:

"One of the stories that Atkins and his collaborator Jen got into the papers was: "Sarah Harding was secretly a fan of quantum physics".
It ran as a lead story in Grant Smart's Bizarre column in the Sun complete with a fake quote.
The Sun object to this and have asked the Leveson inquiry to challenge this. They say they ran Sarah Harding's PR who gave them the quote.
Atkins says he finds this "a remarkable coincidence" as the Sun did not challenge this claim about the fake quote since the movies came out two years ago."
"The Leveson inquiry has resumed, but there is no video or audio streaming for legal reasons. Thais Portilho-Shrimpton of the Hacked Off campaign has tweeted this:
Live blog: Twitter Chris Atkins' face was not to be shown, but one barrister is arguing his image is easily obtainable online!"

Hacked off
CA: although the PCC system ineffective, inquiry should not use Ofcom as example of regulator either

Atkins: undercover meetings we've shown show that PCC adjudications are as good as meaningless in terms of correcting behaviour.

David leigh (Guardian)

Witness Statement in Full

From Guardian Website:
David Leigh
"The Guardian's investigations editor, David Leigh, was described by his colleague Nick Davies at the Leveson inquiry as an "artful dodger" journalist who knows how to stay on the right side of the law and the public interest. Leigh has won plaudits for his work that led to the jailing for perjury of Tory defence minister Jonathan Aitken in 1995 and an investigation into secret payments by arms giant BAE. Leigh more recently led the Guardian's collaboration with Julian Assange and the release of redacted US diplomatic cables."
Special report: The Aitken Case - Guardian 

David leigh - Scandal on Tap - 2006 - Guardian (Discussed during DL's evidence session)

Guardian Live Blog with coverage of David Leigh's Evidence 

LJ Leveson: 'Sensible Judges Would Exercise Discretion on Phone-hacking' - Telegraph 

Guardian Journalist Justifies Hacking if in the Public Interest - Guardian

"Leigh tells how Guardian journalists operate under two codes of practice, the PCC's and the Guardian's. Leigh says telling lies or misleading stories about your sources is "just wrong, it's misleading the reader about what's going on"."

"Guardian Journalists normally don't use subterfuge."

Leigh: I don't want to sound holier than thou, but culture (Guardian & other broadsheets) is pretty candid, ethical, serious-minded

Daniel Lanyon
David Leigh: check book journalism encourages embellishment

Natalie Peck
DL: I wasn't involved in blagging info from J Aitkin. Wasn't working for the Guardian at that time (was at World in Action).

From Guardian Live Blog:
"Leigh is being asked about his own admission of once allegedly intercepting the voicemail of a corrupt arms dealer.He says he listened to the mobile phone message of a corrupt arms dealer.
The businessman had inadvertently left the pin code for his voicemail on a print out.
I don't hack phones normally. I have never done anything like that since. I'd never done anything like that before. On that particularly small occasion, this minor incident did seem to be perfectly ethical."

Lyra McKee
Wow. said while papers like the Gdn can self-regulate well, tabloids are "incapable" of it

Steven Nott

 Witness Statement in Full

From Steven Nott's Website - 'Hackergate':
"My name is Steven Nott and below is an article from the South Wales Argus dated 13th October 1999 which shows how I tried to raise the alarm to the British authorites about the possible interception of voicemail otherwise known as phone hacking. The article came out after a long campaign to make everyone aware of the insecure Voicemail system on the Vodafone Recall service. Because of Vodafone's lack of care towards customer safety, I took my story to the Daily Mirror, when Piers Morgan was Editor, to name and shame them.

Things didn't go quite to plan because Oonagh Blackman at the Mirror, after much excitement, decided not to print the story even though she said it was going to be the biggest that decade so after being warned by her not to tell anyone, I went to their rival newspaper The Sun, in Wapping at the News International HQ and asked for help to expose Vodafone security issue and the Daily Mirror.

It was a catastrophic decision to show the newspapers about phone hacking but the public needed warning. I didn't know if they knew or not at the time. I definitely have a good idea what's been going on now though.

I also informed New Scotland Yard, Security Services, Home Office, The DTI and my MP about my concerns and never had any help from them.

What was I supposed to do ?. What would you have done ? This was all 12 years ago in 1999.

Please also bear in mind when reading this, I was trying to raise the alarm to the serious implications about voicemail interception back then and if Vodafone hadn't tried to wriggle out of it saying 'change your PIN' every time, then perhaps we wouldn't be where we are today. 

What would you do if you discovered a security risk that was a national threat ? I didn't know what I had got myself into and was relentlessly trying to rectify my mistake of telling the tabloids. A remarkable story, mere coincidence or massive cover up ? Leveson Justice Leveson will decide."
BBC News - Leveson Inquiry: Salesman tells of Loophole Warning 

The Delivery Driver Who Flagged up Hacking Dangers Back in 1999 - Press Gazette

Article from South Wales Argus on Steven Nott's futile attempts to alert media and phone companies to dangers of phone-hacking from 1999

David Allen Green
It seems warned tabloid media about hacking all along, but no one ran with the story. Strange that.

Charlotte Harris

Witness Statement in Full

From BBC Website:
"Ms Harris represents football agent Sky Andrew and has represented actress Leslie Ash and her husband, former footballer Lee Chapman.
Mr Andrew is one of almost 50 alleged victims of media malpractice who have been granted the right to be "core participants" in the judicial inquiry into phone hacking, due to start on 14 November."
"The News of the World (NoW) hired an ex-police officer early last year to carry out surveillance on two prominent lawyers representing victims of phone hacking, BBC Newsnight has learned.
Derek Webb covertly followed lawyers Mark Lewis and Charlotte Harris."
Live Blog from Guardian with details of Charlotte Harris' evidence.

Charlotte Harris: Nowhere to Hide, Says the Lawyer on Murdoch's Case - Independent (from April 2011)

Video - BBC News - NotW Placed Hacking Lawyers Under Surveillance

BBC News - Leveson Inquiry: Victims' Lawyer Tells of Surveillance 

 From the Guardian Live Blog:

"One of the issues with the Press Complaints Commission, says Harris is, that you can't have concurrent complaints to the PCC and civil legal action."

Harris: there has to be certain amount of personal autonomy & freedom to be, w/out fear you're going to be a role model in future

From the Guardian Live Blog:
"Harris says she is reluctant to make too specific a recommendation regarding future regulation of the press, but that the first base of her Mishcon de Reya is the law should be obeyed. She advocates "proper sanctions" for newspapers.
When it comes to regulation going forward, there's a certain reluctance...nobody wants a bureaucratic, kneejerk reaction to some the terrible things we've heard.
I know that I want the law to be obeyed in some way, so we don't have this ridiculous situation with the injunctions that it was okay to breach them...but if there's a phone hacking scandal that can be silenced for years."