Using the rhetoric of press freedom to thwart free speech – Martin Moore

20 12 2013

BBCpress-620x410It rarely takes long, in arguments about free speech, before someone refers to John Milton or John Stuart Mill. Most of us remember one particularly strong defence of free speech made in both Milton’s Areopagatica and Mill’s On Liberty. Any attempt to censor, suppress or constrain free speech, Milton and Mill argue, denies people access to the truth. Read the rest of this entry »





Opinion: It is the press bosses, Mrs Miller, who are being destructive – Brian Cathcart

19 12 2013

Maria MillerMaria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has attacked Hacked Off in Parliament. She did not mince her words. In her view we are ‘quite a destructive force’, ‘deeply unhelpful’ and we ‘created a great deal of bad will’. Read the rest of this entry »





Phone Hacking Trial: Jury Hears Kuttner Police Interview – Martin Hickman

19 12 2013

Stuart KuttnerDay 31:  One of the News of the World’s most senior executives had not even realised phone hacking was possible before the arrest of the paper’s royal editor seven years ago, the hacking trial heard today. Read the rest of this entry »





Plenty to Retain? Opinion of the Advocate General in Digital Rights Ireland – Orla Linskey

19 12 2013

European Court of JusticeIn what circumstances is it possible for the EU to introduce a directive which limits the exercise of fundamental rights guaranteed by the EU Charter? This is just one of the many questions of constitutional significance which the Court is asked to address in Joined Cases C-293/12 and C-594/12. Read the rest of this entry »





The Irish View on Defamation and the Internet: ‘Where Does Libel Occur’? – Clare Tsimpourla

18 12 2013

DnB logoIn 2012 the Irish Courts found themselves tangled in a jurisdictional web. The case of  Coleman v MGN ([2012] IESC 20) started out somewhat like this: Mr Coleman woke up one day in 2003, only to discover that his face was portrayed in the Daily Mirror (UK) next to an article about hooligans and drunkards. Distraught by the implications of the publication, he sought damages inter alia for defamation, negligence and breach of contract. Read the rest of this entry »





Press Regulation: A Pantomime of Deceit and Disinformation – Julian Petley

17 12 2013

Press regulation dealBy rejecting the Royal Charter, the majority of the British press has  done exactly the opposite of what it claims it wants to achieve: keep  politicians out of press regulation…  On November 8, 2013, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) announced that it was sending an “unprecedented top-level press-freedom mission to the United Kingdom“. Read the rest of this entry »





Law and Media Round Up – 16 December 2013

16 12 2013

weekly-round-up-140x80This was Week 7 of the phone hacking trial of Rebekah Brooks, Andy Coulson and (now) five others at the Old Bailey.  The jury were discharged from entering a verdict against the eighth defendant former NOTW news editor Ian Edmondson after the judge ruled that he was “currently unfit”. Read the rest of this entry »





Media Plurality: Why media ownership limits are practical, beneficial and essential to restore democratic integrity – Justin Schlosberg

15 12 2013

Justin SchlosbergIn response to my brief on media ownership limits, Rob Kenny helpfully moves the discussion forward by questioning some of the claims and detail in that brief. Before offering my response in kind, it is important to make clear Rob’s interest as a member of the Communications Chambers, which includes News Corporation among their list of clients, particularly as much of his arguments are made with a focus on Rupert Murdoch’s news assets. Read the rest of this entry »





Phone Hacking Trial: Updated Resources – Online Reports, Links and Live Tweets

15 12 2013

Phone Hacking TrialThe Old Bailey “phone hacking” trial is about to begin its eighth week.  There are now seven defendants facing a total of seven charges.  The trial receives intermittent coverage in most newspapers but continues to receive excellent coverage online.  The purpose of this post is to update our earlier post on the available online trial coverage. Read the rest of this entry »





Media Plurality: The Impact of a 20% Ownership Cap, not so ‘Minor’ – Rob Kenny

14 12 2013

Rob-Kenny-mugshot-2-150x150Last week Justin Schlosberg (of Birkbeck, University of London and the Media Reform Coalition) and I debated media plurality issues at an LSE event. We agreed (I think) on the objectives of media plurality, but had very different views on the merits and form of regulatory intervention. Read the rest of this entry »