Policy issues continue to engage our members, with letters to the press, blogs, articles and twitter contributions throughout the year, the year of the phone hacking trials (which continue) – see the previous issue of Three-D for further reports on the outcome of the Brooks/Coulson et al trial: http://legacy.meccsa.org.uk/news/three-d-issue-22/.
There have been several seminars and conferences; it is good to see a wider geographical spread for policy events this year, although obviously there continues to be much activity in London, including within Parliament.
The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom and Media Reform Coalition initiative to promote communication rights and media reform was launched on Monday 1st December, in Committee Room 10, House of Commons. In the run up to the General Election, a Media Manifesto is to be published in March 2015. Inviting comments by 31 January, the aim is to present a set of proposals that have support from a wide coalition of civil society organisations.
Speakers at the launch event included Chris Bryant MP, NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet, Natalie Fenton (Goldsmiths College and Hacked Off), Jonathan Heawood (Impress), Roz Hardie (Object), Des Freedman (Goldsmiths College and Media Reform Coalition), Granville Williams (CPBF), and other speakers from trade unions and civil society organisations. For more details see www.cpbf.org.uk.
Tom Watson MP delivered the 2nd Annual Leveson lecture on 3rd December in the House of Commons, which several Policy Network members attended. His theme was “Unfinished Business: The press, the police, phone hacking and more” and covered: progress made since the Leveson report; the challenge to democracy and the rule of law by the current rejectionist approach by many of the main news groups; new revelations about press abuse – including the findings relating to Mazher Mahmood, and new information emerging from criminal trials about the role of News International as a corporate body; the need for Leveson Part 2 to take place after the trials – dealing with corrupt relationship between law enforcement and newspapers.
Dr Vera Slavtcheva-Petkova organized a well-attended one day conference on The Future of Local News on 5th November at the University of Chester; see report by Alec Charles below.
LSE: Seminar on Broadcasting & Spectrum, Friday 19 Sept, 2014 with speakers: Gill Hind, Enders Analysis; David Mahony, Director of Policy Development, Ofcom; Ben Roome, Chief Executive, at800; Jonathan Thompson, Chief Executive, Digital UK
The LSE Media Policy Blog at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mediapolicyproject/ regularly publishes details of meetings and reports in the Policy area.
Jonathan Heawood, director of the proposed independent regulator of the press IMPRESS, spoke at meetings in Cardiff University in March 2014 and at Ulster University in Belfast, in May 2014, to explain the organisation (currently appointing its Board) to both staff and students and local media, including web-based news outlets and broadcasters. For news of IMPRESS see http://impressproject.org/prospectus/
Several Policy Network members were involved in the organization of the Oxford Media Convention in February 2014 including Damian Tambini, Sally Broughton-Micova and Steve Barnett and several others attended. Thanks to Damian for enabling this.
Responses to consultations
Stephen Barnett is currently responding to Ofcom’s consultation on Media Plurality and has involved network members in discussions on it.
Relationships with civil society
Policy network members continue to be actively involved with civil society groups including Ofcom; the Media Standards Trust; Hacked Off; IMPRESS; the Voice of the Listener and Viewer; the Children’s Media Foundation and the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom.
Research & publications – a brief sample
For regular updates on the Europe wide research project, co-ordinated at LSE, see the website for EU Kids Online www.eukidsonline.net
For user-friendly blogs on academic research, See CMF research website at http://research.thechildrensmediafoundation.org