3 ½ for Leveson
Here’s my marks on Leveson’s report on the 10 issues I said he must not fluff in my blog on Tuesday.
1 Regulation must have legal backing: we can’t have the publishers opting out. Got this one right. Good start. One mark.
2 Editors and publishers, including owners, should have responsibility for what their employees do, as in corporate manslaughter. Did not even seem to consider this. No marks.
3 Newspapers need to establish internal compliance operations to implement a newly written code. No mention of this. No marks.
4 Clarify what is the public interest. Just used the term ‘public interest’ without further clarification. Must do better. No marks.
5 Contributions to public debates and those who put themselves in the public eye are more open to coverage than of private people, whatever happens to those private people. Not really addressed. No marks.
6 Reemphasise that hacking and harassment are criminal. Did this and did it well. One mark, at last.
7 Lay out a framework for the reform of libel to include the claimant’s need to prove they were damaged and how much, at the very least. No real mention of libel reform apart from increasing damages. A missed opportunity. No marks.
8 Introduce a right of reply for all coverage. Fluffed this one completely, why? No marks.
9 Lay out plans to fragment ownership to overcome the concentration of ownership. Discussed and fluffed as left to others to decide. Half a mark here.
10 Say that the vast majority of the press the vast majority of the times does a great job. He did this well. One mark.
Overall: Leveson has had an interesting term but his performance has been below par. He needs to pay more attention to some big issues and not puff out his writing with description which almost everybody knows already.