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Leveson and the prospects for media reform

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Abstract:

Since the summer of 2011, the phone hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry have provided unprecedented access into the murky relationships between the press, police and politicians. The authors evaluate the Leveson report and conclude that, while his recommendations for a new regulator are welcome, they only partially fulfil his terms of reference. In other areas, particularly with regards to issues such as policing and media plurality, the weakness of his proposals means they fail to address the systemic causes of phone hacking and other unethical behaviours – the culture of impunity resulting from high concentrations of media ownership. The authors argue that current difficulties in implementing Leveson's regulator demonstrate that issues of ethics, ownership and plurality cannot be separated, and require a range of remedies – from fixed ownerships limits to new sources of funding for journalism in the public interest.

Keywords: HACKING; LEVESON REPORT; MEDIA CONCENTRATION; MEDIA REFORM; OWNERSHIP; PRESS FREEDOM

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3898/136266213806045683

Publication date: April 9, 2013

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