Free press must stay

First published in Letters by

APPARENTLY a law to shackle the press is illegal. After the Leveson Report, a small number of people (many of them celebrities) want censorship of the press introduced.

Leveson highlighted how very private emails, etc, concerning the lives of these celebrities were used by certain newspapers – a deplorable practice, indeed.

It is understandable, following such revelations, why these celebrities are backing press censorship.

However, this would definitely be a step too far. Could recent history be repeating itself? Press censorship and disapproval of political parties happened in the not too far distant past.

Where did newspaper gagging and, ultimately, control of the broadcasting happen? Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler.

Doubtless many will ridicule this comparison, but our media is the only way we can know what is happening in our country and around the world.

Media censorship is an extremely powerful weapon toward “bending” the will and, ultimately, the way the populace of a country will “think” of their politicians.

Press-censoring must never be part of our laws.

Philip Roe, Roman Avenue South, Stamford Bridge, York.

Comments (10)

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10:36am Fri 7 Dec 12

The Great Buda says...

First case of Godwins Law for a while?
First case of Godwins Law for a while? The Great Buda
  • Score: 0

10:44am Fri 7 Dec 12

capt spaulding says...

"Media censorship is an extremely powerful weapon towards bending the will and ultimately the way the populace of a country will think of their politicians"

Press censoring ? bending the way we think of our politicians.!

Surely that couldnt happen here in York.
"Media censorship is an extremely powerful weapon towards bending the will and ultimately the way the populace of a country will think of their politicians" Press censoring ? bending the way we think of our politicians.! Surely that couldnt happen here in York. capt spaulding
  • Score: 0

11:46am Fri 7 Dec 12

roobarb85 says...

Free press...free to hack into innocent people's phones, free to intrude on private grief, free to publish lies on page 1 (and only retract them via a tiny piece on page 23)??

Of course we can't have political censorship - and the revelation of MPs fiddling, financial scandals etc showed what a force for good proper investigative journalism can be.

But the current PCC is clearly toothless, and any voluntary code that is unenforceable in law will be walked away from by editors/proprietors as soon as they think their interests are more important.

Architects, doctors, motorists, for example, all abide by effectively 'voluntary agreements' (RIBA rules, Hippocratic Oath, Highway Code) that are backed up by legal sanctions if they be infringed - why should the press be any different?
Free press...free to hack into innocent people's phones, free to intrude on private grief, free to publish lies on page 1 (and only retract them via a tiny piece on page 23)?? Of course we can't have political censorship - and the revelation of MPs fiddling, financial scandals etc showed what a force for good proper investigative journalism can be. But the current PCC is clearly toothless, and any voluntary code that is unenforceable in law will be walked away from by editors/proprietors as soon as they think their interests are more important. Architects, doctors, motorists, for example, all abide by effectively 'voluntary agreements' (RIBA rules, Hippocratic Oath, Highway Code) that are backed up by legal sanctions if they be infringed - why should the press be any different? roobarb85
  • Score: 0

12:45pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Sillybillies says...

APPARENTLY a law to shackle the press is illegal

Against which law, and especially if parliament passed a law to allow it?
[quote]APPARENTLY a law to shackle the press is illegal[/quote] Against which law, and especially if parliament passed a law to allow it? Sillybillies
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Fri 7 Dec 12

Buzz Light-year says...

Media censorship is an extremely powerful weapon toward “bending” the will and, ultimately, the way the populace of a country will “think” of their politicians.

Come on, that never happens. Ever. Certainly not round here. I've never seen it. Especially not in the last week or two. No. Not at all.
[quote]Media censorship is an extremely powerful weapon toward “bending” the will and, ultimately, the way the populace of a country will “think” of their politicians.[/quote] Come on, that never happens. Ever. Certainly not round here. I've never seen it. Especially not in the last week or two. No. Not at all. Buzz Light-year
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Fri 7 Dec 12

capt spaulding says...

Buzz Light-year wrote:
Media censorship is an extremely powerful weapon toward “bending” the will and, ultimately, the way the populace of a country will “think” of their politicians.

Come on, that never happens. Ever. Certainly not round here. I've never seen it. Especially not in the last week or two. No. Not at all.
No it cant have happened round here and if it did surely it would be illegal
[quote][p][bold]Buzz Light-year[/bold] wrote: [quote]Media censorship is an extremely powerful weapon toward “bending” the will and, ultimately, the way the populace of a country will “think” of their politicians.[/quote] Come on, that never happens. Ever. Certainly not round here. I've never seen it. Especially not in the last week or two. No. Not at all.[/p][/quote]No it cant have happened round here and if it did surely it would be illegal capt spaulding
  • Score: 0

3:26pm Fri 7 Dec 12

old_geezer says...

roobarb85 is on the right lines: Mr Roe should read Leveson para 73, whjch forewarns against the censorship argument, and explains that a regulator operating under statute is not the same as government having any say.

"Oh, but the law could be changed" - yes, but if a government was that desperate, it would be capable of censorship regardless of a non-statutory regulator.
roobarb85 is on the right lines: Mr Roe should read Leveson para 73, whjch forewarns against the censorship argument, and explains that a regulator operating under statute is not the same as government having any say. "Oh, but the law could be changed" - yes, but if a government was that desperate, it would be capable of censorship regardless of a non-statutory regulator. old_geezer
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Fri 7 Dec 12

sheps lad says...

old_geezer wrote:
roobarb85 is on the right lines: Mr Roe should read Leveson para 73, whjch forewarns against the censorship argument, and explains that a regulator operating under statute is not the same as government having any say.

"Oh, but the law could be changed" - yes, but if a government was that desperate, it would be capable of censorship regardless of a non-statutory regulator.
Wow! have you really read the Leveson report to enable you to quote it? Too much time on your hands!
[quote][p][bold]old_geezer[/bold] wrote: roobarb85 is on the right lines: Mr Roe should read Leveson para 73, whjch forewarns against the censorship argument, and explains that a regulator operating under statute is not the same as government having any say. "Oh, but the law could be changed" - yes, but if a government was that desperate, it would be capable of censorship regardless of a non-statutory regulator.[/p][/quote]Wow! have you really read the Leveson report to enable you to quote it? Too much time on your hands! sheps lad
  • Score: 0

9:16am Sat 8 Dec 12

capt spaulding says...

"Not my destination"

Waxes lyrical about emerging economies , The Phillipines and Vietnam on his Tweets and then wonders why the populace become suspicious of his motives.
Walk down any street in Manilla or Saigon and ask someone if they know the small city of York ?
You will be lucky to find someone who knows where Britain is.
They all know who Man United is but no clue as to where it is.

So why does the leader of a small town council trouble himself over world issues when he cant even sort the town bins out.
"Not my destination" Waxes lyrical about emerging economies , The Phillipines and Vietnam on his Tweets and then wonders why the populace become suspicious of his motives. Walk down any street in Manilla or Saigon and ask someone if they know the small city of York ? You will be lucky to find someone who knows where Britain is. They all know who Man United is but no clue as to where it is. So why does the leader of a small town council trouble himself over world issues when he cant even sort the town bins out. capt spaulding
  • Score: 0

10:53am Sat 8 Dec 12

MadHaxMan says...

Roobarb85 is bang on. There is a world of difference between celebrities who spend half their lives courting the press and the other half complaining, and the
cruel and inhuman treatment of ordinary mortals, often at times of personal or family tragedy. The press has had 40 years and more of warnings. Self regulation seldom if ever works. No need for censorship, just rules to keep to and realistic penalties when they don't. Politicians cannot be trusted in their relationships with the press and I think Leveson has been too soft on their relationships. Cameron cares more about his friendship with Rebekkah Brooks/Wade than he does about the Dowlers or some victim of life.
Roobarb85 is bang on. There is a world of difference between celebrities who spend half their lives courting the press and the other half complaining, and the cruel and inhuman treatment of ordinary mortals, often at times of personal or family tragedy. The press has had 40 years and more of warnings. Self regulation seldom if ever works. No need for censorship, just rules to keep to and realistic penalties when they don't. Politicians cannot be trusted in their relationships with the press and I think Leveson has been too soft on their relationships. Cameron cares more about his friendship with Rebekkah Brooks/Wade than he does about the Dowlers or some victim of life. MadHaxMan
  • Score: 0

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