Since the last issue of Three-D, media policy issues have been almost constantly in the headlines, particularly due to the phone-hacking story: the closure of the News of the World, the parliamentary hearings with the Murdochs and others, the withdrawal of News Corp’s bid for BSkyB, and ongoing public debates concerning press freedom, regulation and the privacy of individuals. Members of the network have been vocal in these debates; network colleagues Prof Steve Barnett, University of Westminster and Prof James Curran, Goldsmiths, are among a number of academics who have submitted evidence to the ongoing Leveson inquiry (www.levesoninquiry.org.uk).
Network meeting: guest Martin Moore
On 22nd September 2011, members of the Policy Network met at the LSE to discuss some of these issues with Martin Moore, Director of the Media Standards Trust, also active in the Hacked Off campaign. Thanks to Sonia Livingstone, Damian Tambini and Sally Broughton-Micova at the LSE for facilitating this event. Martin gave us a summary of the many inquiries currently ongoing: Leveson; a number of parliamentary committees; legal cases; the many police inquiries, including Operation Weeting. He laid out areas in which he thought academic input would be helpful to these debates – above all in providing evidential, fact based information. (Some of this evidence can be seen at the links below.)
The Policy Network meeting followed directly on from another meeting, of a new group, which includes some MeCCSA Policy Network members – the Campaign Committee for Media Reform (CCMR), to be renamed Media Reform UK (its website now live at www.mediareform.org.uk). This group brings together civil society groups, trade unionists, consumer groups such as the Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV, www.vlv.org.uk) and academics including those from policy research teams at Goldsmiths (http://www.gold.ac.uk/media-research-centre/) and the LSE (http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mediapolicyproject/). More information will be forthcoming from this reform group next month – a series of meetings and events are planned; details of these can be found in the Calendar on the LSE Media Policy website.
Outside the Westminster village
Thanks to members from outside London who made the effort to come to the September meeting at LSE. We’re conscious of the need to find ways of operating outside ‘the Westminster village’ and suggestions for regional events are welcome. On this point, members may be interested in the following events taking place outside London:
- University of Glamorgan, 19th November:
‘The Future of the Press in Wales’ – see http://culture.research.glam.ac.uk/futureofthepress/
- University of Ulster, Belfast Campus, 23rd November:
The Value of Localism’, an event organized by the Voice of the Listener and Viewer, the University of Ulster’s Centre for Media Research, (http://cmr.ulster.ac.uk/) and Ofcom, NI. Information from Linda Forbes at firstname.lastname@example.org and VLV website.
The Media Reform Group (contact Justin Schlosberg at [email@example.com] have also provided a useful list of weblinks of interest to media policy researchers:
- Leveson Seminars
Full details of the sessions last week are available from the Hacked Off website: www.hackinginquiry.org.
- James Curran’s presentation is available here: www.hackinginquiry.org/news/professor-james-currans-talk-at-leveson-inquiry-seminar/
- You can contact or send submission to the inquiry directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Brian Cathcart on Paul Dacre’s performance at the Leveson Inquiry: www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/13/dacre-regulator-mail-editor-press
- Leveson hearings due to start in November: www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/oct/13/leveson-inquiry-witness-evidence