22 January 2012

Leveson Inquiry: Hearings - Day 29


"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
From Guardian:
Here's a quick reminder of the four modules within this first year of the inquiry.
Module 1: The relationship between the press and the public and looks at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour
Module 2: The relationships between the press and police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest
Module 3: The relationship between press and politicians
Module 4: Recommendations for a more effective policy and regulation that supports the integrity and freedom of the press while encouraging the highest ethical standards.

Witness list for this week (23rd - 26th January) to be found HERE
Video Recordings of each day's proceedings HERE
Live Feed From Leveson Inquiry Site HERE
BBC Democracy Live Feed HERE 

Leveson Inquiry Blog From Hackinginquiry - Hacked Off

Misleading headlines?

Today's links to articles, info and comments relevant to the Leveson Inquiry (frequently updated) :
  • From Guardian Live Blog 11.09 a.m.:
We interrupt the Leveson inquiry for an important announcement: Rupert Murdoch has tweeted about phone hacking.
        • Tom Watson MP has just tweeted:
        Live blog: Twitter A News Corp source tells me Rupert Murdoch has seen the draft designs of the Sunday Sun with a launch in April at a discounted price.

        Letter from Surrey police regarding Milly Dowler and News International: Utterly stomach churning.

        • From Guardian Live Blog:
        Damian Collins, an MP on the culture, media and sport committee, has described the Surrey police evidence on Milly Dowler deletions as "sickening".
        Live blog: Twitter The 'News of the World' obtained Milly Dowler's "mobile phone number and PIN from school children" - sickening new Surrey police evidence.

        John Prescott

        Why didn't Surrey Police notify the Met in 2002 of proof of phone hacking of Milly Dowler's phone by NOTW? It went on for another 7 years!

        alan rusbridger

        Whittingdale: "NotW journos impeded police because they went on claiming they had evidence Milly Dowler was still alive"

        • More Comment and details of reaction following the Letter to MPs' Committee from Surrey Police in Guardian Live Blog HERE
        • From Guardian Live Blog:
        Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, is to give evidence to the Leveson inquiry on Wednesday.
        He is likely to be asked about
        the Mail on Sunday's admission that it hired Steve Whittamore to get information on him.

            • BREAKING: 16.03 p.m. - IPCC has completed its investigation into Surrey Police offIcer alledged to have taken payment for info about Dowler investigation - (tweet from Matt Prodger - BBC)

                      Monday January 23rd 2012
                      (link to Hearing for day 28 HERE )

                      Ross Hawkins
                      starts with another ticking off of media for taking his musings on regulation as final decisions

                      Andy Davies
                      Broadcasters up at today. Court clerk asks packed gallery: "are you all BBC?". Classic. Most are.

                      says he's made a Section 21 order to Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, to give evidence on public interest.

                      Today's Witnesses:
                      John Battle ( Channel 4 News) 
                      Jim Gray (ITN)
                      Lord Patten (BBC)
                      Mark Thompson (BBC)

                      Witness Statements to be taken as read from:
                      Greg Dyke (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Nicholas Eldred (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Robert Peston (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Nicholas Robinson (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Richard Watson (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Tom Bradby (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Maggie Carver (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Gary Gibbon (Witness Statement in Full)
                      John Hardie - (witness Statement not available yet)
                      David Mannion (Witness Statement in Full)
                      Matthew Hibbert (Witness Staement in Full)

                      John Battle (ITN Head of Compliance, Channel 4 News)
                      John Battle
                      ITN the Lawyer

                      From Guardian Live Blog:
                      Battle tells Leveson that ITN's compliance manual will be regularly updated.
                      He is a former lawyer for the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, and Today newspaper.
                      Asked to compare the ethical cultures of the newspaper and broadcast industries, Battle says "the differences are not as large as you might think".
                      Journalists in both industries try act ethically and tell the truth, he says. The main differences are in the architecture of the organisations.
                      Battle says he will attend the morning news meetings and offer guidance.

                      Damon Green
                      John Battle, ITN's lawyer, at . He watches my reports before they go to air. I distract him by talking about Crystal Palace
                      Barr establishes first of all that Battle has experience in both broadcast and print media. Says difference between compliance standards is not great. Structure of the areas is different. There to advise journalists, editors about compliance with the law. Guides, advises. Leveson suggests he has more 'bite' than if was merely a legal adviser. Battle says he wouldn't be so blunt, but there is a certain amount of truth in what leveson says. Ofcom also has external regulation.
                      Barr asks him to compare attitudes to legal risks - Battle says tabloids take on whole a higher risk with compliance. 
                      Barr now asks if tabloids took greater risk with the methods they use. Battle says it was a long time ago when he was working in print media. Barr asks about rumours of phone-hacking - Battle denies knowing about it, or the ilegal payment of officials.
                      Battle says ITN do not have many instances of litigation against them - they try to ensure beforehand that the risk of this is lessened. Battle says they have not lost a libel case in the 10 years he's been at ITN. Settlements?, asks Barr. Battle declines to answer.
                      Leveson intervenes and says he'd be happy with a broad indication later.
                      ITN has perhaps about 10 complaints through Ofcom - only 4 or so serious complaints.

                      All the content online from ITN is perhaps more strongly regulated than ordinary output. Leveson asks whether PCC regulates the online content.

                      Contact with Police, Politicians? No.

                      Hacked off
                      Before ITN invades privacy a public interest and test of proportionality must be passed before they can proceed

                      Battle: it's a difficult and dark period for the press.

                      Battle I'm interested in the history of freedom of expression and it being protected

                      Guardian Live Blog:
                      Newspapers should not be regulated in the same was as broadcast news, Battle tells the inquiry.
                      Broadcasters are very heavily regulated by the law, he says, and the UK has a "strong tradition" of the freedom of the press.
                      "I hope there is a system that could be viewed or considered by the press … before [it is enacted]," he says.

                      Ross Hawkins
                      saying judiciary are affected by all sorts of statutes and are independent, so why not press

                      Jim Gray (Editor Channel 4 News)
                      Jim Gray

                      Guardian Live Blog:
                      Gray says Channel 4 News conducted an independent inquiry into whether any of its journalists had used illicit newsgathering techniques.He says the inquiry found no evidence of blagging, phone hacking or other unlawful methods.

                      Mark White
                      Jim Gray says Channel4 News uses "proportionate" means to gather evidence on a story, taking into account the public interest

                      James Ball
                      Feel faintly guilty hearing JimGray talk at : my Zac Goldsmith story was one of the complaints he mentioned.

                      James Ball
                      Complaint was thrown out on all counts – but it took ten months and a lot of document digging. Chilling effect in action

                      Hacked off
                      Gray: no instance recorded of money paid to police or public officials mobile phone companies or others for information and stories

                      T Portilho-Shrimpton
                      Gray: I struggle to think of a story that I really wanted to put on the air that I didn't because of the guidelines

                      Guardian Live Blog:
                      Gray is asked about sourcing and undercover filming.
                      He would publish a single-sourced story if a senior politician had spoken out off the record to one of his journalists.
                      Gray says an approval for undercover filming would need prima facie evidence of wrongdoing and authority from a number of senior figures at Channel 4 and after "a whole series of tests".
                      Gray says he takes a "hands-on approach" with compliance procedures and makes sure he is seen around the newsroom.

                      Ross Hawkins
                      C4's Gray at : politicians are always trying to attract you to coverage that makes them look marvellous and wonderful
                      Guardian live Blog:
                      Gray says journalists will receive off-the-record briefings from the police.Those journalists are some of the most "highly attuned" in terms of the issues of relationships with police officers, he says.
                      Gray says he rarely meets politicians but will do so to organise interviews and other "functional aims".

                      Mark White
                      Jim Gray says politicians always trying to influence the news, he's never though sought to influence a politician

                      T Portilho-Shrimpton
                      Gray: online version of a mainstream or a broadcast vehicle ... has to carry the brand value, same integrity, ethics  

                      Amy Lawson
                      Gray at "your online version must carry the same brand values, ethics, integrity" (as your programme)

                      Lord Patten (BBC Trust Chairman)
                      Lord Patten

                        From Guardian live Blog:
                        Lord Patten says the BBC's charter works in a practicable way."I would never, ever, seek to interfere with the director general's editorial decisions," Lord Patten tells the inquiry.
                        He says he is "rather impatient" in endless debates about institutional architecture, having spent five years at the European Commission.
                        Lord Patten tells the inquiry the BBC "should learn to say sorry quicker" when asked about its complaints process.
                        He says it is very important that the BBC set a "gold standard" of accuracy and impartiality.
                         Lord Patten says that the BBC undertook an internal review into phone hacking "given the surprise" about how widespread the practice appeared to be, and to check "that it hadn't polluted [the BBC]".
                        The internal review found no evidence that BBC journalists had been involved in phone hacking.

                        Relationship with print media:
                        Barr asks is the relationship between the print media and the BBC a symbiosis? Patten says the intrusion into privacy of both is difficult. Cites Gaddafi's death photos. Thinks BBC was more restrained than say Aljazeera.
                        Difference is that BBC doesn't have to earn its own living. Thinks BBC can repay by being trustworthy.
                        Barr asks if BBC relies on print media to break stories. Patten doesn't think much truth in this, but that BBC often feels obliged to follow up on these stories.

                        Relationship with Rupert Murdoch
                        Murdoch tried to have Harper Collins stop publication of a book by Patten. This prompted bad relationship between Murdoch and Patten.
                        Patten took £50 000 advance from HC and wrote the book. Profit (Editor) was very flattering about it. Rupert Murdoch heard about the book and because of his wish to move into China with his businesses (Most people knew that to move into China was implausible) and because the book was critical of China, he wanted the book blocked. Profit refused to back down, lost his job, everything. Was tough for him at the time. Book was eventually published sold with a sticker on the front, 'The Book Rupert Murdoch Tried to Stop'. made more money because of this. Patten says Murdoch wanted to curry favour with the Chinese.
                        Patten Criticises Relationship Between Politicians and News International - Press Gazette

                        BBC and Politicians:
                        Not much contact since he became Trust Chairman, tho' he's in the House of Lords. Has seen Jeremy Hunt twice and phoned him texted him once or twice. Would have seen the Prime Minister more if he (Patten) had been a NI representative. (Very controversial thing to say!)
                        Isn't in favour of politicians 'grovelling' to editors and proprietors. Doesn't agree that press/TV can affect fate of politicians.
                        When he was Conservative party Chairman, he refused to ring Wapping to complain when unfavourable things were said about the party. Made him unpopular with his colleagues.
                        Barr reminds him he once said 'Murdoch's help is only available when you don't need it'.
                        Patten thinks Murdoch has been responsible for the survival of several newspapapers and that Murdoch really cares about media - very aware of digital possibilities.
                        Patten thinks some politicians would sleep better if they could be sure of support of some of the press.

                        Peter Hunt
                        Patten: don't have a vendetta against Mr Murdoch ..... His understanding of digital changes makes him an entrepreneur and a genius.

                        Leveson asks whether relationship with press has got worse or is better. Patten says it's got more serious. He doesn't thing politicians should worry so much about effects of the press. he does worry about how close some politicians have got to the press.
                        Patten says it's a question of where you draw the line - need to have contact on the record for democracy's sake - being too tied to one particular aspect of media is not healthy.

                        Ross Hawkins
                        Patten at : politicians would make better decisions if they weren't quite as affected by front pages of papers

                        Leveson asks where it went wrong. Patten says it's politicians who are at fault. He doesn't blame journalists. Thinks it went wrong when politicians began to believe papers could influence the outcome of elections.

                        Patten: it's a question of how "seemly" it is for politicians to behave in certain way, appear to be manipulated by papers
                        Patten mentions the inadvisability of arranging sleepovers with newspaper executives. (means Gordon Brown's wife and Wendi Murdoch, does not mention Cameron and the clique from NI living around Chipping Norton)

                        Barr has been handed a question about whether attempts were made behind the scenes by press to affect policies. Patten says not behind the scenes, but yes - by manipulating public opinion. He has known of covert attempts but won't say what. Suggests EU interests were one subject. Capitalist entrepreneurs were interested in monopoly.

                        Ben Fenton
                        says he can't recall covert deals between pols and papers. But I assume it was going on, he tells

                        Patten says he doesn't think broadcasting regulation is applicable to the press (told Soc of Eds this in November)

                        Hacked off
                        Patten: BBC subject to both Ofcom and our own regulators as well. Our independence is guaranteed by the royal charter

                        Mark White
                        Patten says just because the regulatory framework is successful for broadcasters, doesn't mean it would work for newspapers

                        From Guardian Live Blog:
                        Patten tells Leveson that broadcasting regulation is not applicable to the press.
                        He said in an interview published in the Times today (paywall) that newspapers should not be subject to statutory regulation:
                        It would be preferable not to have any statutory backup because we should be able to exercise self-discipline in our plural society, which doesn't involve politicians getting involved in determining matters of free speech.
                        [That] is always going to raise suspicions that politicians or governments are trying to protect their own position.
                        He tells the inquiry that no one seems to have proposed an entirely credible alternative regulatory structure for newspapers.

                        Peter Hunt
                        Patten: far preferable if written media themselves clean out the stables.

                        Ross Hawkins
                        Patten at : Sky has probably devoted more time to the hacking story than BBC has, shows spirited independence of Sky News

                        Ben Fenton
                        BBC gets involved in provision of news due to market failure. Cites cutbacks in local talk radio:huge volume of criticism of that

                        Ben Fenton
                        [ hints at correctness of Gdn story this morning that Trust is going to push for reversal of local radio cuts. ]

                        Peter Hunt
                        Patten on Times int with Mrs Dave Bowie: Dave didn't believe anything until heard it on BBC.

                        Ben Fenton
                        says papers shd behave better, but police shd investigate without "unhealthily close relationship with media"

                        Catherine Wylie
                        If politicians get too close to the media it "becomes a tar baby" leaving then bedraggled or dishevelled, says Lord Patten.

                        From Guardian Live Blog:
                        The first task is for the media to behave better, says Patten, but when illicit newsgathering methods are used the police should investigate "rather than develop and unhealthily close relationship with some journalists, editors or proprietors".
                        2.59pm: Patten welcomes the step of cabinet members publishing their meetings with journalists and editors.
                        2.58pm: The overwhelming point about the BBC's dominance of news reflects the quality of its output, says Patten.
                        He cites "Mrs Dave Bowie" who recently said that Bowie "didn't believe anything unless he'd heard it on the BBC".
                        In his final exchanges with Lord Justice Leveson, Patten says that while the inquiry is working towards a new model for press regulation, "wheels are whirring in Wapping and elsewhere in order to find some way that independent regulation may be effective".Leveson says that he hopes to have a dialogue with the press through the inquiry and that this will result in newspapers coming up with ideas for change. But he says the public need to be carried along with the press.
                        Patten says the inquiry is a good example of "tutorial government" by helping to shape the debate around press reform.

                        Mark Thompson (BBC Director General)
                        Mark Thompson

                        Questioned by Mr. Barr, Thompson says BBC, in normal circumstances, would desire stories to be based on 2 sources unless speaking to a Minister, say, who would be considered a reliable source.
                        Says BBC desire to be trustworthy makes them seek high level of credibility of source. Leveson says not least because of libel laws.
                        BBC will invade privacy only when public interest supersedes the privacy right.
                        Proposal to secretly record or film someone would only be contemplated/justified in case of genuine public interest. Would need to be certain was no other way to gather evidence for a story. 
                        Have a policy of logging every request for secret filming - whether granted or not. Log proposals to phish, too. BBC weigh up evidence and seriousness of story in public interest.
                        Thompson cites case of the Panorama care home case.
                        Barr asks if size of potential audience matters. Thompson says no, he doesn't believe this is the case. That's why they log each secret filming proposal. Says it's all tightly controlled, never used to hype a story to create larger audience.

                        Ben Fenton
                        [extent of BBC compliance here a lesson to the press about how tough things could be - hard to imagine working in daily newspapers]

                        Leveson asks if the compliance logs prove too bureaucratic. Thompson says it does add a certain amount of delay and wouldn't be suitable for a fast-moving story.
                        Leveson asks if system has prevented pursuing stories they would have normally followed. Thompson says he doesn't think they've missed important stories e.g. the Primark case. Their methodology prevent mistakes on whole.

                        Phone Hacking:
                        BBC commissioned a review - Barr asked why after Thompson says he wasn't aware of any evidence of phone-hacking at the BBC. Thompson says as part of BBC's desire to keep to highest standards, review was necessary.

                        Peter Hunt
                        Thompson: BBC biggest journalistic organization in this country.

                        Barr: was the review a waste of time and money? - Thompson: no, it wasn't, in his view. BBC needs to be able to hold its head up and be seen as above reproach. 
                        Barr mentions Thompson's witness statement.

                        - 2 references to BBC in Operation Motorman report. Thompson says one mentioning 'BBC wine blag' was newspaper trying to find out extent of amount of wine at BC. The other was to do with paedophiles and was a request to Whittamore to ascertain flight details of a known paedophile - was in 2001 and Thompson was not involved. He said he would have considered it in the public interest.

                        Payments to police:
                        Thompson says he thinks it justified when a police officer appears on TV.

                        Peter Hunt
                        Thompson: BBC not made any improper payments to police officers.
                        Guardian Live Blog:
                        Thompson says that a small payment will be made to police officers who appear on Crimewatch.He says it would be wrong and improper to pay a police officer for confidential information.
                        Police and politicians will sometimes receive a fee when appearing on BBC entertainment shows.
                        "But in no way are public officials and politicians treated differently [to other on-air guests regarding payments]," says Thompson.

                        Ross Hawkins
                        Thompson at : BBC does use private investigators primarily for surveillance & security

                        Right to reply:
                        Thompson: wherever we can, we give plenty of time for people to reply to allegations - sometimes as long as 10 days.
                        PIs much more likely to be brought in to support journalists - cites bail hostel programme - BBC News - Panorama - Exposed: the Bail Hostel Scandal
                        Again mentions Care home programme.
                        Barr asks about injunctions - Thompson says only one incident of an interdict being granted in Scottish court - child protection issue. 2 or 3 complaints per year, he thinks.

                        Private investigators:
                        Review shows PIs only occasionally used - 1 e.g. - owner of a vehicle from a number plate. Barr asks that in order to get this, illegal conduct must have been used. Thompson says there were many companies who had access to DVLA data base - Thompson justifies this by saying PI had a number of different ways of getting the info and that the journalist involved was convinced that the car he was following was that of a man involved in a serious criminal case.
                        Barr says there is no specific prohibition in the BBC rules of Phone-hacking. Thompson says that it's not there as not thought necessary due to BBC's high standards. Thompson says in view of what has happened elsewhere, this rule should be included in next booklet.

                        Andy Davies
                        BBC reviews found that from Jan 2005 - July 2011 the corp used PIs on 232 occasions paying £310,000.

                        Accuracy above speed is one of BBC's high expectations says Barr. Barr asks about new media like Twitter. (Ed: have noticed journos much less careful with info and impartiality on Twitter!)
                        Thompson mentions Peston's tweets and on his blog. Barr asks if checking systems are working as well on new media as they are on the main broadcast methods. Thompson says it's all still new and they are working thro' the ways of dealing with it.

                        Thompson: accuracy on website = same standard as on TV, radio, but we are still potentially grappling with new issues re web

                        Thompson: 1 of issues for BBC & every news organisation is that once you put something on the web, it's there forever

                        Peter Hunt
                        Thompson: "blogs" by people like considered and approved by senior editor before published.

                        Jules Mattsson
                        Thompson talking about UGC - eyewitness content, big trend in news & cheap, agrees must b careful with it & hard to know background

                        Editorial Compliance:

                        Ross Hawkins
                        Thompson at : we have a "chain of command" which makes editorial decisions
                        Leveson expresses interest in way broadcasters and press adapt to suit changing media developments.

                        Thompson says BBC needs to reinforce strong culture of its journalism rather than change it

                        Guardian Live Blog:
                        Thompson tells the inquiry that every programme-maker in the BBC – including him – had to take seminars on editorial decision making.He says the corporation has a "chain of command" for editorial decisions.
                        Thompson adds that journalists will "come up to me and argue about policy decisions" as an example of the BBC not needing to change its journalistic culture.

                        Thompson says they'd rather err on the side of too much training rather than not enough.

                        Complaints system:

                        Dan Sabbagh
                        BBC receives 240k complaints a year, says it responds to 93-94% within 10 days. (Should newspapers publish such stats?)

                        Catherine Wylie
                        "You moved my favourite programme because the tennis over-ran" is a typical and serious BBC complaint says Thompson.

                        Guardian Live Blog:
                        Thompson is asked about the BBC's complaints procedure.Barr points out that the present system has been criticised for being "too complicated and too slow".
                        Thompson confirms that the BBC intends to simplify the complaints system.
                        The "overwhelming majority" of complaints are dealt with swiftly, he adds.
                        He tells Leveson that the BBC receives "well over 1m" contacts from the public each year, of which about 240,000 are complaints. He says it responds to 93% to 94% within 10 days.
                        The BBC Trust ultimately upholds six to seven of the 240,000 complaints the corporation receives each year.
                        Thompson says that these complaints rarely land the BBC in court, adding that between four and six defamation proceedings are launched against the corporation each year.


                        Guardian Live Blog:
                        Thompson is asked about the BBC's internal Neil report, which came in the aftermath of the Hutton inquiry in 2004.
                        The director general at the time was Greg Dyke, whose written evidence will be published later today.
                        "The Neil report is the foundation … of high journalistic standards," Thompson says. The report included new recommendations on sourcing, attribution and right of reply.

                        Catherine Wylie
                        Thompson admits viewers were deceived by BBC re competitions but says this was not part of the BBC journalism machine.

                        Catherine Wylie
                        The Brand/Ross incident was a very serious lapse of editorial judgement, says Thompson.

                        Ben Fenton
                        That was serious lapse of judgment by v senior programme makers [it cost controller of Radio 2 her job]

                        Guardian Live Blog:
                        Thompson is asked about the corporation's lapses in standards."I believe that as quickly as possible you should tell the public directly that you recognise that the BBC has made mistakes, that we are sorry for letting them down and we will do everything in our power to make sure it doesn't happen again," he says. "Sadly, that wasn't what happened in the instances of phone-ins and the Queen documentary."
                        He adds that the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand "Sachsgate" saga was a "very serious lapse of editorial judgment" that was "far, far, far beyond the line".

                        Relationship with press:
                        BBC tries not to pursue some stories broken by the press in radio progs like Today, for e.g. Stories about private individuals must be linked to wider public debate.
                        Barr asks if BBC's rules on speed could be used by press. Thompson says twitter etc have made this more difficult. Press needs exclusivity as well as speed and isn't the same with the BBC. Would rather be right than first.
                        BBC is a gigantic organisation and public has uniquely high standards expectation of the BBC.

                        Relationship with police:
                        Thompson has occasional meetings with senior police officers. Occasional lunches. Needs arms length and impartial relationship.

                        Relationship with Politicians:
                        FIFA case: - Thompson says everyone's entitled to their point of view, has never been put into unfair pressure but the FIFA case was different because of the World Cup bid. Politicians let him know it would affect their chances adversely. BBC - The Editors: Panorama: Fifa's Dirty Secrets

                        Mark White
                        Thompson says there was concern from some, including senior politicians over BBC investigation into FIFA, but no improper pressure

                        Barr now asks about the difference between the climate at Channel 4 and BBC - Very similar ethical environment in both.

                        Barr references Thompson's speech last year where he mentions his worries about the future of investigative journalism. BBC Media Centre - Mark Thompson Speech - Nov 2011

                        Thompson sees need for there to be journalists dedicated to investigating the veracity of breaking stories. Cites Wikileaks. Mentions the Guardian and the BBC as highly trusted sources online.
                        Barr asks if Thompson wants to see regulation of bloggers on the net. Thompson says seems to him that to attempt to apply same level of control on blogger as you would to a broadcaster would be impossible. Is there 1 or more line you could draw within the internet to control content?
                        Leveson says Thompson's view of the problem is important as he's been dealing with it for some time.
                        Leveson asks about drawing a line between digital chat and what is effectively a business. (Ed Guido Fawkes?)
                        Leveson pursuing topic of the business bloggers - have wide reach and beyond control, perhaps. Thompson says some are very large scale.

                        Hacked off
                        MT: I accept that some stories fit a public interest justification. Papers should be able to publish stories interesting to public.

                        Guardian Live Blog:
                        Back at the Leveson inquiry, Mark Thompson and Lord Justice Leveson are discussing models of statutory or self-regulation.
                        Leveson says that he is not proposing to impose the same regulatory model for TV news on the press.
                        Thompson says that its "important for the plurality of media in this country that the press is not constrained" in the same way as the BBC, Channel 4 News and other broadcasters.
                        Thompson ends with his final thoughts for Leveson.
                        "I think this country has benefited from having a range of media that are funded differently, constituted differently, have different objectives," he says.
                        Leveson asks Thompson for his thoughts on the public interest.
                        Thompson says a public-interest broadcaster like the BBC should have a greater focus on public interest than a glossy magazine like Hello.
                        The exposure of any crime meets Thompson's idea of public interest, he tells Leveson.

                        Peter Hunt
                        Lord Justice Leveson asks Thompson whether reach of BBC is undermining viability of local newspapers.

                        Peter Hunt
                        Thompson: yet to see any evidence use of BBC adversely affects economics or usage of local papers.

                        Hacked off
                        MT: Economics of local press deteriorated. ITV's invest. out of London diminished. People substituting local news with BBC service.