Day 2037: 29 November 2012 Thursday, Madeleine Beth McCann
Updates 29 November, 2012
I welcome Lord Leveson's report today and hope it will mark the start of a new era for our press in which it treats those in the news responsibly, with care and consideration.
Needless to say, more time will be needed to read, digest and understand all the implications of the report but my initial impressions are positive (assuming implementation).
Some important points are worth labouring, especially when there is an element of scaremongering (intentional or otherwise) through the use of misleading language:
We, and the other core participant victims, are all totally in favour of freedom of speech. Nobody is advocating a loss of this basic human right. But freedom of speech does not equate to freedom to slander.
None of us want, or is requesting, a government-controlled press. We want a free press but one which is responsible, accountable and independently regulated. This is not a big ask. The press can do a lot of good -we’ve experienced this. But it can also destroy lives -and we’ve had a more than a fair share of that too. Any professional organisation or industry which has the potential to do harm should be accountable for its actions. Why should the media be exempt from this? Ensuring responsible journalism and accountability is paramount.
It is important to keep in mind what the Leveson Inquiry is about. We gave evidence to the inquiry last year because we don’t want anyone else to suffer as we, our family and the search for our missing daughter did at the hands of our press. It is this need to prevent such harm to others in the future that has driven the core participant victims to assist the inquiry. We need a system such as that recommended by Lord Leveson to have any hope of achieving this.
Legislative underpinning is not statutory regulation and implementation of such is quite some way from ‘crossing the Rubicon’.
I hope the Prime Minister, like the other party leaders, will embrace Lord Leveson’s report and act swiftly to ensure activation of his recommendations within an acceptable and clearly defined time-scale.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lord Leveson and the legal team for their colossal efforts throughout the inquiry to date. I truly hope it will lead to an historic and more importantly, crucial achievement for all in our society.