Gath’ring winter fuel

This magnificent cartoon by my friend Kellie Strøm was commissioned by Lewisham NUJ for its 2012 Christmas card to members. Bonfire of the newspapers – zeitgeist or what? Artwork © 2012 Kellie Strøm (www.balsko.com). All rights reserved.

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Hunt-Black plan – oh for goodness sake let it lie!

Less than 24 hours following publication of the Leveson report, David Hunt continues to flog his dead horse of a plan for a revised Press Complaints Commission. I refer to the plan concocted along with the convicted fraudster Conrad Black. Those of us opposed to the Hacked Off approach to press regulation at least have […]

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Legitimate purpose – Leveson’s smoking gun

On Channel 4 News this evening Times columnist Camilla Cavendish neatly identified the smoking gun in Brian Leveson’s report on UK press ethics and regulation. It is contained in volume 4 of the full, 2,000 page report, in the form of a suggested statute clause… “Interference with the activities of the media shall be lawful only […]

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Leveson hath spoke

Having read at least the 50 odd pages of the executive summary of the Leveson report (the whole shebang is 2,000 pages long), I have to say that I’m disappointed. I had hoped that Brian Leveson would pleasantly surprise us, but the result is worse than I previously feared. What Leveson recommends for the UK […]

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Journalism and shit

It is but a few hours now until the rhetorical shit hits the fan. As I type Brian Leveson will no doubt be sleeping soundly, safe in the knowledge that his job is done, and it is left for other unfortunates to pick up the pieces and do what they will with them. Going by […]

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NUJ leader defends stance on press regulation

National Union of Journalists general secretary Michelle Stanistreet is a member of the branch of which I am chairman. I may not know Michelle well, but I regard her as a friend. This makes it all the more difficult for me to be so sharply and openly critical of her stance on press regulation, which […]

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What can Denmark tell us about press regulation?

In the lead up to the publication later this week of the Leveson report into UK press ethics, the public debate has been grounded on two sharply opposed positions backed by newspaper owners and senior editors on the one hand, and the political class on the other. The latter is backed by the leadership of […]

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Damned in 140 characters or fewer

Reform luddite and irredeemable old fart Dr Francis Sedgemore has yielded to the inevitable, made a faustian pact with the interwebs, and signed up to Twitter. He has now been assimilated, and adopted @hesgen * as his twittish identity. Actually, I hinted at this move a month ago, when I shut down the borked comments […]

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Cycle ride: Darent Valley gone all russety, Sunday 25 November

Where: Darent Valley, Kent When: Sunday 25 November 2012 Meet: 10:00 @ General Wolfe statue, Greenwich Park (by the observatory) Brought to you by the South East London Commissariat for Social Cycle Rides Planning, aka the Dog & Bell Crew, a late autumn ride along one of my regular and favourite routes through northwest Kent, […]

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Priest makes arse of himself in national newspaper

According to the Reverend Richard Mullen, Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, who “has written for many publications including the Wall Street Journal”,… “The sun is huge and ninety-three million miles away and the small moon is in our backyard, a mere quarter of a million miles away. Yet in an eclipse their […]

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