From the start, the press has behaved atrociously.
Even as the phone-hacking scandal was breaking – but before the Milly Dowler story shattered all standards of decency – it was complacent about what it was doing. Then, throughout the Leveson inquiry, it acted with its customary curtain-twitching cruelty, as if being able to count down the days until a celebrity girl turns 16 is a matter of freedom of speech.
The press holds two contradictory thoughts in its head at the same time. Firstly, that it is of the utmost importance. And secondly, that it is of no importance at all. The first is necessary for journalists' sense of their daily self-worth. The second is necessary to justify why they should not be robustly regulated.
The press is a power base. It must be subject to some level of democratic control. The libel system is not enough. It protects only the rich. The Press Complaints Commission is not enough. It protects no-one.
Under our current arrangements, the weird, the poor andRead More »from The press is arrogant and irresponsible – but we must defend it against the state