Tag Archives: press regulation

Opinion: We’ve reached the “Ain’t you got any homes to go to?” stage at the Last Chance Saloon

Last Chance SaloonThe Newspaper Society is kicking up an almighty fuss about the proposed press Royal Charter. Historically, their biggest campaign has been to avoid tax on newspapers. So let’s not kid ourselves. This is the most self-serving grouping (which is fair enough).

We are told that the Royal Charter has been dreamed up by politicians to impose a state press regulator. Roll on the 30th October, when hopefully this sort of ridiculous hyperbole will diminish as the Mexican stand-off ends.

Actually, elected legislators pass the laws in this country. It seems newspapers have …

Posted in Op-eds | 14 Comments

Government pauses on web regulation to ponder question, “What is a small-scale blog?”

A follow-up to my weekend post, Bloggers unite to oppose “botched late-night drafting” that proposes new press/web regulation, highlighting the concerns of many — including the Hacked Off campaign group — that politicians’ hasty law-making had resulted in legislative over-reach.

lord mcnallyIn the House of Lords last night, the Government accepted an amendment that will exclude from the Royal Charter-backed independent self-regulation plans ‘A person who publishes a small-scale blog’.

How ‘a small-scale blog’ is defined will be consulted on by the culture, media and sport department. Patrick Wintour in The Guardian reports this as “a miniconsultation with the newspaper industry on how best to construct a workable definition of the bloggers”, which would be an, erm, interesting way of going about it.

Here’s what Lib Dem justice minister Lord (Tom) McNally told peers:

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Bloggers unite to oppose “botched late-night drafting” that proposes new press/web regulation

I’m one of 17 signatories (on behalf of LibDemVoice) to a letter published in Saturday’s Guardian, reproduced below, which opposes the “fundamental threat” of the draft legislation approved this week by MPs of all parties which would regulate blogs and other small independent news websites.

It’s not often you’ll see us, ConservativeHome, LabourList, Guido Fawkes, Liberal Conspiracy and Political Scrapbook agree on something. But what we term the “botched late-night drafting process and complete lack of consultation” has, for once, brought us together. And, as the letter notes, perhaps even more remarkably got Tom Watson and Rupert Murdoch agreeing, too.

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Clarifying the press regulator’s relationship with the web

To post or not to post?A furore has broken out over whether the Royal Charter on press regulation, and the amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill that accompany it, would mean that bloggers and tweeters would be subject to ‘exemplary damages’ in the event of successful complaints brought against them.

The Guardian’s live blogger Andrew Sparrow initially thought that blogs and Twitter might be subject to regulation by the newly created press regulator – the independent body recommended by Lord Justice Leveson. He was swiftly corrected, and the correction sheds light on the source of confusion – the definition of “relevant publisher” in both the Royal Charter and amendments to the Crime and Courts Bill.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Green Deal

Despite the fact that we are now well into March, it seems that there is no let up in the cold snowy weather and I know that at this time energy bills remain a major concern to my constituents. To help people reduce these bills and cut down their energy use, the Government has taken action and introduced a scheme called the Green Deal. This enables people to improve the energy efficiency of their …

Posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

The Fourth Estate needs a makeover – what would Borgen do?

Who said: “In the old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism”.

No, not Hugh Grant. Oscar …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Press regulation – something a liberal party can support?

My reaction to the report of the Leveson Inquiry today was mixed to say the least. On the one hand, any intrusion of Parliament into our free press seems fundamentally illiberal to me – the heavy weight of bureaucracy coming smashing down to dampen our fiercely independent media, which has shown itself more than capable of exposing the very worst excesses in recent times. After all, it was Nick Davies at the Guardian whose reporting exposed the phone-hacking scandal that led to the Leveson Inquiry in the first place. And it was the Daily Telegraph that reported on the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments
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