The publication of the Leveson Inquiry last week, and the political fallout from it, is a huge moment and great opportunity for those of us praying for a greater sense of ethical journalism in our national press. It’s also an amazing example of the interconnectedness of the different key spheres in London, and the importance of a right relationship between them. The relationship between the politicians and the media (and indeed the law) is critical for the whole nation.
It was fascinating to see Lord Justice Leveson end his presentation by saying “the ball is now in the politicians’ court.” And then to see the media focus on the arguments over statutory underpinning, and the difference of opinion between Cameron and Clegg. And still, the media are reporting the story as being one of division amongst the politicians on whether to pass a new law on regulation or not.
Because I don’t think this is the real issue or the real story here. The real story is that Leveson has actually pushed the ball firmly back, not with the politicians, but with the press.
It’s up to the press to get together and create a new form of regulation. Leveson clearly laid that out. They need to create something that is independent, and that they all sign up to voluntarily. Whether the politicians then choose to legislate to support it is the secondary issue. Either way, it’s up to the press to come up with a form of regulating their own industry.
The media editors and proprietors are meeting with the Prime Minister on Tuesday to start discussions. The chair of the former Press Complaints Commission believes they can come up with a workable solution within seven days.
This week, pray like never before that the press come up with an independent regulator, a solution, and that we have ethical journalism… A free and responsible press.
Mark Williamson also blogs regularly at One Rock International, a training organisation resourcing missionary leaders across the globe. He’s passionate about good films, good food, getting into deep conversations, and going for long walks with his wife Joanna.