It was all going so well…and then those chickens started coming home to roost.
The Guardian’s director of editorial legal services Gill Phillips has said the outcome of Leveson Inquiry has been “disastrous”.
Phillips told delegates: “What Leveson has come up with is the worst of all worlds.
“His attempt to please everybody and avoid being a dusty footnote on a shelf somewhere has led him down a road that has proved to be pretty disastrous.
“We don’t have anything that could be perceived as effective or credible by either side of the debate.”
I imagine that when an inquiry, supposedly wideranging, is actually predicated upon the sole intention of reining in one man and his supposed ‘empire’ (it’s all relative….see below) things get distorted and that old law of unintended consequences rears its ugly but inevitable head.
From the Guardian:
The BBC, and online media, are included in the government’s consultation on plurality in the industry. And about time, too
The BBC, notes the DCMS, spends £430m a year on news provision – more than all other UK broadcasting put together. It reaches 86% of the population and accounts for 73% of TV news-watching. How, for plurality purposes, can you pretend it doesn’t exist?
Of course it operates under a pall of officially prescribed fairness and balance. But that, in itself, limits its plurality role. It can’t (see the latest contentious BBC Trust verdict) let John Humphrys loose for an individually crafted report on welfare dependency. It demands facts, figures and equivalencies, not personal perceptions. And the BBC is held to account for what it reports, not for what it leaves out. Sometimes it picks up a newspaper story and runs hard with it. Sometimes not. Sometimes Edward Snowden may as well not exist.
It’s often a negative power, but it is power. You can’t calculate pluralism without it. It’s the same online, as bbc.co.uk scoops up 40 million or so unique visitors in Britain alone. What’s the point of counting paper copies when the Telegraph can boast a combined monthly reach of 10.7 million? When the Guardian notches 12.4 million and the Mail 18.8 million. Even the Sun, at 16.9 million, doesn’t seem such a winner in company like this – and, as the consultation adds, that’s before you drop in the Huffington Post, Google News and more in a market place that obeys few conventional rules.