Saturday, 2 November 2013

Parliament Vs Press Pissing Contest Continues.

The bald fact is that neither the press nor Parliament want a truly independent press watchdog which is the reason for the protracted pissing contest we've had over the past few weeks..

The press don't want to lose control over "their" watchdog and so wail an plead that a watchdog that is not in their pocket is an afront to age old and hard-won press freedom. They state that the Royal Commission will be filled with government stooges who will be controlled from Westminster.

Parliament say that the press need to be reigned in as they were out of control and their toothless watchdog didn't have any control of them. They say that the Royal Commission will be independent and will no be controlled by government.

Now both sides are both right and wrong in this matter.

A truly independent watchdog is what the press needs to control the excesses we've seen in the supposed phone hacking affair. Now, I've seen the gutter press at work on normal people: wrecking lives and intruding massively into affairs that should stay private, just for a second or third page saucy small-column headline. That's not good journalism.

That sort of behaviour needs to be moderated. By all means when people break the law, or when a politician does something that their constituents should be told about, then the press should get stuck in and make these things public.

BUT: a Royal Commission run by government lackeys and the usual old-boy's network is not the right vehicle to do it, nor are the heinous rules that say that a person can make a malicious claim against a news agency outside the Commission's "protection" and still get their legal costs paid for.

Our press needs something better, truly independent and free from influence from BOTH sides.