Why Media Matters – event report

By Media Reform Coalition / Tuesday January 24, 2012 Read More
A discussion on why the Leveson Inquiry matters was held at the Bank of Ideas on Saturday January 14th. A good crowd of people attended and heard from Dave Boyle (UK Co-Operatives), Richard Peppiat (former Daily Star reporter), Natalie Fneton (Goldsmith’s University) and Des Freedman (Goldsmith’s University). Dave Boyle outlined why the co-operative model was a more democratic and sustainable one for media companies rather than the undemocratic, unaccountable corporate model that dominates at the moment. Richard Peppiat meanwhile gave some first hand testimony of what it means as a journalist to work within the corporate media at the behest of corporate bosses. Natalie Fenton stressed how the whole scandal leading up to the inquiry and the inquiry itself has revealed the shocking levels of collusion and mutual back-scratching going on between the media and political elites. Des Freedman stressed that whatever comes out of the Inquiry, the process itself is opening up an opportunity to get things discussed in the broader public realm that have been dear to the hearts of media activists and scholars for some time. In the ensuing discussion someone from the PR team of the Bank of Ideas revealed that they had received an email from a major newspaper that had shown some support to them, warning that if they hosted the Co-ordinating Committee  for Media Reform’s meeting at the Bank of Ideas, then that support, such as it was, would be withdrawn! This was very much to be welcomed in fact and clearly suggested that someone somewhere was indeed rattled! This was a major theme of the discussion: that Leveson represents an opening in the broader public debate which extremely powerful forces are going to be working very hard to close down. It was up to activists and scholars to do as much as possible to spread the debate and keep up the pressure for reform. Mike Wayne