Today is the ninth birthday of the Inforrm blog – which began operation on 22 January 2010. Our first post – “Welcome to Inforrm” – attracted 2 visitors in January 2010 and the site had a total of 7 page views that month.
That was the only post for that month. The posting rate and visitor numbers have since increased dramatically. In the last nine years we have had a total of over 4,500 posts and 4.5 million page views.
The media law issues we have debated have changed over the years. If 2010 was the year of libel reform, the focus in 2011 moved to privacy, The first half of 2011 saw the “Super-Injunction spring”. In 2011 to 2012 there was phone hacking followed by the Leveson Inquiry – which reported in November 2012.
The discussion in 2013 was dominated by the Leveson Report and the debate about its implementation. In 2014 we had the coming into force of the Defamation Act 2013 – which had been the result of the libel reform debate which partly inspired our launch – was first set up – phone hacking and Operation Elveden trials and Google Spain.
In 2015 we had the Mirror Phone Hacking damages trial and appeal, the beginnings of a body of case law on the Defamation Act 2013 and the continuing importance of data protection issues. And privacy injunctions seemed to be making a slow comeback …
In 2016 the mini-revival of the privacy injunction continued, notably with PJS v News Group in the Supreme Court (our post on the Court of Appeal decision granting the injunction is now our most popular of all time). The Courts continued to grapple with the Defamation Act 2013 and data protection issues began to bubble to the surface. The press regulation debate continued – culminating in the DCMS Consultation on section 40 and Leveson 2.
In 2017 we has the creation of the new “Media and Communications List” in the High Court. The Supreme Court refused to strike down media CFAs but reasserted the importance of open justice. The Court of Appeal reinterpreted the meaning of serious harm in the Defamation Act 2013 and Inforrm reached 4 million hits. From a global perspective the most controversial issue was “Fake News” – with many posts devoted to questions as to what it was and how to deal with it. Our post on the Top 10 Defamation cases of this year became one of the most popular ever.
In 2018, we had a series of posts on the Government’s cancellation of Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry. the failed attempt by the House of Lords to reintroduce the inquiry in the Data Protection Bill and the unsuccessful application for judicial review of the cancellation decision. There was the first English “right to be forgotten” case and the most high profile case of the year was that brought by Sir Cliff Richard against the BBC. It was also the year of “Cambridge Analytica” and the GDPR.
In 2019 we are continuing our coverage of general media and legal issues – case law from Britain, Europe and around the world and other issues such as social media and cyberbullying. All suggestions for topics from our readers are welcomed.
We would like to thank all our readers and contributors over the past 9 years. The top posts over this period have been from a number of outside authors – taking a range of different views on the issues. Our intention continues to be to serve as a “forum” for debating issues and we would encourage readers to offer contributions on any issue concerning media responsibility, media law and the other topics which we have been writing about. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The top 20 posts of all time are (in descending order)
- Case Law: PJS v News Group Newspapers, Court of Appeal grants privacy injunction – Sara Mansoori and Aidan Wills
- How to avoid defamation – Steven Price
- Top 10 Defamation Cases of 2017, a selection – Suneet Sharma
- Harassment and injunctions: Cheryl Cole – Natalie Peck
- “The cases of Vanessa Perroncel and John Terry – a curious legal affair” – Dominic Crossley
- Case Law, India: Puttaswamy v Union of India, Supreme Court recognises a constitutional right to privacy in a landmark judgment – Hugh Tomlinson QC
- Defamation Act 2013: A Summary and Overview – Iain Wilson and Max Campbell
- Case Law, Strasbourg: Von Hannover v Germany (No.2) – Unclear clarification and unappreciated margins – Kirsten Sjøvoll
- Social Media: How many people use Twitter and what do we think about it?
- Case Law: OPO v MLA, Shock and disbelief at the Court of Appeal – Dan Tench
- Case Preview: Jack Monroe v Katie Hopkins, Twitter libel trial about meaning and serious harm
- Case Law: ETK v News Group Newspapers “Privacy Injunctions and Children” – Edward Craven
- Is there is any difference between the public interest and the interest of the public? – Brian Cathcart
- Case Law: Gulati v MGN Ltd, A landmark decision on the quantum of privacy damages – Hugh Tomlinson QC and Sara Mansoori
- Case Law: “Spiller v Joseph – the New Defence of Honest Comment” – Catherine Rhind
- Case Law: Iqbal v Dean Manson, harassment by letter – Edward Craven
- Defamation Act 2013: The public interest defence and digital communications – Jacob Rowbottom
- Case Law: Růžový Panter, OS v Czech Republic: Anti-Corruption NGO defamation case, no violation of Article 10
- La Regina Nuda and Italian Privacy Law – Athalie Matthews and Giacomo Parmigiani
- Case Law: McAlpine v Bercow (No.2), Sally Bercow’s tweet was defamatory – Hugh Tomlinson QC