PM and the freedom of the press

People might wonder why I keep my eyes on the things happening in Britain. I for one still believe that whatever happens there will impact us, especially in legal terms, development and evolution.

So when I initially read about Murdoch and phone tapping, I was less concerned with his paper here (the Daily telegraph for one), and more with the acts and power base of Fairfax. I have seen how too many people just jump to attention when Fairfax calls. From my point of view they have way too much power, and too many people are really eager to be on the ‘good’ list of Fairfax. This is not an accusation that they are doing anything wrong, more about the willingness of others to be in the good graces of some of these corporations.

From my personal view it would be less about what government thinks and does, and more about how our futures have been too strongly in the hands of companies like Telstra and Fairfax.

So when I read about the British PM commenting on the Leveson report and on ‘his’ fears in regards to freedom of speech, I had to wonder about certain parts connecting to these thoughts. Now most people currently use the Leveson report as a Hype and mention this reports mainly towards the events of Murdoch (which started this all), however, the words of the PM struck a chord in me and not a good one.

I will state here, that (just making sure you do not consider me an authority on this):

  1. I have not completely read it yet (this work is larger than the Hobbit and the Lord of the rings put together).
  2. I am still trying to see the wisdom of certain parts as I did not yet pass Media law as a subject (but I hope to get the option next semester).
  3. It is an UK report and little old me is on the Largest island of the British Empire also known as Australia (I am claiming artistic freedom of comparison in naming it an Island).

 

Lord Justice Leveson clearly mentions again and again, the need for the freedom of the Press (and him being in favor of it), so the fear of PM Cameron seems unwarranted.

There is the question that this view was given in light that in general politicians are slightly too deep in the pockets of the press to further THEIR visibility in regards of their political careers. (I am not implying ANYTHING illegal here, as their visibility does depend on publication of their views, all good and legal).

What I do fear is that most of all this is too often and too visibly NOT about accountability. This report does mentions accountability of government, however there is at present (read as far as I got) too little about accountability of the press. There is some mention of its history by Sir David Calcutt QC (page 205). Volume 2 in part F does mention this failing, although there it is in regards to policies. This in itself is questionable in my view. If a person is not accountable for actions and he works under policies that do not set rules of accountability, or have clear lines of oversight, making sure that ethics are correctly checked, enforced or demanded, what remains?

How can those press organisations be regarded as possible employers? How can a situation evolve as quoted from Vol.2 page 538 where senior management were ‘shielded from anything that was going on there’.

 

If we consider this to be intentional acts of non-accountability, are the issues involving the press not about their freedom, but the essential need for their accountability?

From my point, especially the British press has moved from reporting events to the unadulterated abuse of the wealthy and famous at their expense for the benefit of more money (labelled as entertainment). I’ll be honest. I do enjoy a jab at those on pedestals too high for their own good just like anyone else (with a little moderation), but the press has overdone it for too long, and at the harmful expense of too many.

When we consider this in regards (especially) to glossy magazines, should we not consider criminal prosecution?

Consider this:

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder, and it has been linked to egocentrism.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fourth edition (DSM IV-TR), defines narcissistic personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B). So if this is known, is the over abundant exposure of these people not criminal?

The UN charter defines Principles for the protection of persons with mental illness in their charter since 1991. So is the press hiding behind the freedom of the press in light of a criminal act?

I agree that my view is exaggerated; however, it seems that everyone is supposed to be held to some minimum level of standard. To deviate from this for one group is called discrimination, whether this is positive or negative. So why is the press discriminated for in light of their acts, as they get away with something that is nothing short of character murder.

Not unlike the Lord Justice, I am all for the freedom of press. How else will we know what is going on?

However, I am also in favor of accountability to be introduced to the press. This is not a bad thing. It forces a higher level of quality in published works. That also means that only those versed in journalism, ethics and linguistic skills call themselves Journalists (this excludes the large groups of people with a mobile phone, a Facebook account and only those two to propel happenings into misrepresented accounts of events to be published under the label of some form of ‘Contributor/Announcer’.

(to be continued soon)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Law

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s