Charlie Beckett nails what’s been bothering me since I saw the Prime Minister’s press conference this morning:
But the bigger story is the proposed review of the whole relationship between the press and power.
Cynics will say that the Prime Minister is using the idea of a review of British journalism as a way of kicking current problems into long-term long grass. But let’s take this at face value. British politicians have traditionally kept well out of commenting on the news media, let alone trying to change it. If you mess with the press you risk getting bitten by the hand that feeds you electoral success (if you see what I mean). But now Murdoch is on the run, politicians have become emboldened. Public opinion really does seem to be in favour of stopping the worst abuses of press behaviour. So politically, it is now possible.
Early days yet to see if this will be for good or ill, but I suspect that the longer-term impact of the*News of the World* closure will be felt in this change, rather than the firing or imprisonment of current or former News International execs.
Polis is holding an event to discuss what happens next. Might be worth attending…