Thursday, 29 November 2012

Leveson Inquiry: On Conclusion

Still trying to digest this*, but I've always thought the wisest words to the Leveson Inquiry were said by Ian Hislop.

"I do think that statutory regulation is not required. Most of the heinous crimes that came up and have made such a splash in front of this inquiry have already been illegal.
"Contempt of court is illegal, phone-tapping is illegal, policemen taking money is illegal. All of these things don't need a code, we already have laws for them.
"The fact that these laws were not rigorously enforced is again due to the failure of the police, the interaction of the police and News International - and let's be honest about this, the fact that our politicians have been very, very involved in ways that I think are not sensible with senior News International people."

After writing this blog about gay men and the media for two years, it's clear the main problem now with how the LGBT community is written about is how trans people are written about - it seems fine to set them up as figures of fear and ridicule, and regularly invade their privacy.
And as Hislop might point out, there are already laws against outing someone as trans.
So why not get newspapers to stick to them?
I want a free press, the problem is, as the Leveson Inquiry showed, we have a cruel and cavalier media seeing how much they can get away with.

* I'm not planning on reading the actual thing, obvs, it's 1.5m words, so don't write in.

Update: Christopher Jefferies - who was outed as a murder suspect to the media by police, and then smeared and libelled by the press, after he was arrested on suspicion of the murder of Jo Yates - has written an open letter about Leveson's findings; "There is a world of difference between statute that sets up an independent regulator and one that sought to regulate content, which no one is suggesting despite what the newspapers say."

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