The government scuppers Leveson Part 2: is Britain’s press undermining democracy? – Steven Barnett

22 05 2018

Recent amendments to the Data Protection Bill, supported by the House of Lords and then narrowly defeated in the Commons, would have revived Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry into unlawful conduct and corporate cover-ups in national newspapers. Read the rest of this entry »





Stop Funding Hate and the Daily Mail: Who are the Bullies? – Steven Barnett

28 03 2018

Many years ago, in those halcyon days when The Guardian could afford to pay freelancers, I was commissioned to write a piece on the beginnings of TV sponsorship. Shockingly, rules were about to be relaxed to allow commercial channels to seek sponsors for programmes (it was a very long time ago). Read the rest of this entry »





Why Theresa May’s plan to save local journalism could end up benefiting media moguls – Steven Barnett

10 02 2018

File 20180209 51697 473zlb.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1There are two ways of looking at the new Press Review announced by Theresa May, the UK prime minister: a genuine attempt to inject some badly needed funds into the failing business model of journalism, or another backhander to the mainstream corporate press to keep them sweet. Depressingly, history suggests the latter. Read the rest of this entry »





Unveiling BBC talent’s pay is a deliberate attempt to undermine a great British institution – Steven Barnett

20 07 2017

Anyone who seriously believes that a government dictat obliging the BBC to reveal salaries of its top talent was genuinely driven by concerns about accountability should look carefully at those who champion the cause. Read the rest of this entry »





Fox, Sky and Murdoch: will Bradley have the courage to resist? – Steven Barnett

30 06 2017

Yesterday’s announcement by Culture Secretary Karen Bradley that she is “minded” to refer the bid by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox to the Competition and Market Authority (CMA) is welcome. Read the rest of this entry »





Daily Mail vs The Guardian: why did editor Paul Dacre lose his rag? – Steven Barnett

24 06 2017
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“Words have consequences. They lead to actions.” So wrote Peter Oborne, the maverick right-leaning Daily Mail columnist about the shocking events in north London recently when a white van deliberately ran into a crowd of Muslims outside a mosque, killing one and injuring several others. Read the rest of this entry »





Press regulation: three reasons why a 30 year old campaign must continue – Steven Barnett

19 01 2017

National NewspapersWith the government’s consultation on whether to proceed with the section 40 cost-shifting incentives of the Leveson framework now closed, there will be a brief political pause. Neither that consultation nor the intense political manoeuvring that is likely to follow should distract us from the long-standing and urgent need to tackle reform of press regulation in order to protect both the public and public interest journalism. Read the rest of this entry »