Debate around the web

In links on June 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm

William Rees-Mogg has written of concerns to the plan to create a statutory regulator for parliament. He writes:

“the Bill could disturb the existing balance of the relationship between Parliament and the courts . . . It might damage the freedom of speech of both Houses.”

The Press Complaints Commission has published a report of its open day last week.

A civil servant has been cleared under the Obscene Publications Act after content on his Girls Aloud blog discussed kidnap and murder of the group. His barrister, Tim Owen QC, argued:

“He had written what he had described as an adult celebrity parody and was only meant to be for an audience of like-minded people . . . This type of writing is widely available on the internet in an unregulated and uncensored form. In terms of its alleged obscenity, it is frankly no better or worse than other articles.” – via BBC News.

Judith Townend has summarised the debate on Media Guardian following its report of the BBC expenses story. From what I could see, the majority of readers did not agree with the Guardian’s prominence of the story or its subsequent explanations.

Paul Waugh uncovers that Michael Gove MP is paid £1250 per hour for his regular column in The Times.

Guido has caught out lots of large media organisations for reporting – and failing to check – a Tweet from David Miliband that was a hoax.

Sarah Ditum on Liberal Consipracy writes about Justice Eady and his reputation in the media:

In an ideal world, privacy law and libel would never have come into these decisions. A robust Press Complaint Commission, for example, might be able to force all newspapers to look on the right to a private life as a default and demand that any breach of that right should fulfil the highest standards of public interest.

But while the PCC is what it is, Eady’s decisions have formed the best line of defence against intrusion, and newspapers are incentivised to go after only those who don’t have the means to sue.

Tom Harris MP writes of the challenges for the print media in covering Michael Jackson’s death.

The Rochdale Observer is publishing a frontpage correction following its coverage of Paul Rowen MP’s expenses – via Press Gazette.

Metro is publishing an apology and costs to a Doctor – via Press Gazette.

Gabriele Marcotti has written of the challenges of Cesc Fabregas responding to questions about Pep Guardiola (one of his idols) without being misrepresented:

“What are you supposed to say? No, screw him, he’s a weirdo with an ugly leather tie? That’s why you either get players saying things which are anodyne, boring and predictable (see Owen above) or players getting themselves into trouble. “Yes, I’d like to play for Guardiola” becomes “Fab: I’m off” and “No, I’m happy at Arsenal” becomes “Fab Snubs Pep”. It’s a lose-lose, unless you hide behind empty cliches.


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