While the Leveson Inquiry continues to dominate headlines with impassioned and controversial speeches articulating the tabloid culture and values by Trevor Kavanagh, Paul Dacre and Kelvin Mackenzie, The Reuters Institute held a debate  entitled “The News International Scandal and the Rights of Journalism”  last Monday 11 October 2011 at the RSA in the Strand.

The speakers were John Lloyd,  director of Journalism, the Reuters Institute, a contributing editor, the Financial Times , Bruce Page investigative journalist and author of The Murdoch Archipelago  and the debate was chaired by Matthew Taylor chief executive, of the the RSA.

The purpose of the debate was to launch John Lloyd’s new Reuters Institute publication Scandal! News International and the Rights of Journalism which is the first publication about the phone hacking scandal and attempts to throw light at this ealry stage on the nature of one of the major trends of our time, and tells the stories of those laying down the lines of its development. The reuters institute introduced the publication in the following terms:

“Increasingly, hard-pressed newspapers, magazines and TV news divisions look to revelations of scandal, or of secrets unmasked, to provide an income. The market for gossip and scandal, especially sex scandal, has grown greatly with the rise of the Internet and now constitutes an area of the media at once popular and at times politically powerful, or destructive.

The phone hacking at the News of the World – and more broadly – showed how desperate and driven was the search by popular newspapers in the UK for exclusive information on the private lives, both of the famous and of ordinary people caught up in a media frenzy.”

This publication is available free from the Reuters Institute for those who register. In addition an audio of the debate is also available at the RSA website here.  

We also draw attention to the other Reuters Institute publications, in particular, Privacy Probity and Public Interest by Glenda Cooper and Stephen Whittle (and discussed by in posts us here and here).