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Leveson announcement

Written by Robert Barrington on Thursday, 29 November 2012

Press freedom is fundamental to the fight against corruption in many countries. However, our 2011 report on Corruption in the UK highlighted concerns over concentration of media ownership and corruption in politics and the police. Read our thoughts on what the new system should look like.


Press freedom is fundamental to the fight against corruption in many countries. However our 2011 report on Corruption in the UK highlighted concerns over concentration of media ownership and corruption in politics and the police.

The Leveson enquiry and associated police criminal investigations revealed some shocking details about the cosy relationship between politicians and the media the bribing of police officers and the lack of will to hold the media accountable even when laws had clearly been broken.

It is inevitable that the discredited system of self-interested and toothless self-regulation must change.

Whatever replaces it must fulfil four key tests: 
a) it needs to be free from political interference 
b) it must allow victims of unjustifiable abuse, intrusion or allegation to seek recourse to an extent that is proportionate to the damage they have suffered 
c) it must not be a mechanism that is open to abuse by those seeking to silence the press for their own ends
d) it must have genuine and effective powers of enforcement.

Allied to a new regulatory system, there needs to be a greater sense of responsibility by media owners, politicians and public officials to ensure that the system works properly.

Transparency International UK made a submission to the Leveson Inquiry on the culture, practice and ethics of the press. The submission can be downloaded here

Update at 1650 on November 29th: We are following the reactions closely. It is good to see that there is acknowledgement of both the need for significant and genuine change, and the importance of safeguards for press freedom. We should also remember that, like the MPs expenses scandal, the wider world will be watching what the UK does in response to these recommendations. Vested interests in the media and political establishment should not be obstacles to much needed reform.

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Read 7112 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2015 11:47
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Robert Barrington

Robert is TI-UK's Executive Director. You can view his full bio here, and tweet him @TIukED.

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