A “two-fingered salute” to the Leveson Inquiry
AS THE Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press trundles on, online magazine spiked launches an “intellectual two-fingered salute to the creeping conformism and censoriousness being unleashed by the Leveson process”.
Explaining the decision to launch a “Counter-Leveson Inquiry”, spiked editor Brendan O’Neill said the magazine intends to “carry a torch for press freedom”. The campaign will “put the case against Leveson, against judges and police getting to tell the press what its ethics should be, and against any stricture whatsoever on the right of the press, whether highbrow or low-rent, to investigate and publish what it sees fit”.
The launch came just before James Murdoch announced his recognition as chairman of News International and as the Leveson inquiry, launched after the phone-hacking scandal came to a head last summer, continues its investigations into the relationship between the police and the press.
Spiked critiqued the Leveson process from the outset, warning that it would put journalistic liberty and integrity at stake by encouraging more state regulation of the press. The inquiry, initiated by UK prime minister David Cameron, is effectively allowing lords, celebrities, law enforcement officials and politicians to set the boundaries of free speech. “This is more than a polite exchange of views”, spiked has said of the inquiry. “It is a war for the future of a free press in Britain. And in that war, the good Lord Justice and his army of lawyers and media lackeys are the enemy, not potential allies. The Leveson Inquiry is not a neutral body to be persuaded. It is an imposition that must be opposed.”