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Tag: freedom of speech
I believe it is time to regulate the press (December 14 2012) I believe it is time to regulate the press (December 14 2012)

Will Hutton the 62 year old columnist for the Observer and former stockbroker and investment analyst has published an article in The Guardian titled ‘Why I, as a journalist and ex-editor, believe it is time to regulate the press’ claiming the Leveson report is a much-needed opportunity for newspapers to abandon the excesses of the past. Hutton states “Leveson’s report… is being portrayed across great swaths of the British print media as the greatest threat to freedom of speech in modern times. The abuses Leveson was set to up to rectify – industrial-scale phone-hacking and the emergence of News International as a de facto state within a state, along with the more widespread culture and ethics that produced them – are deemed to be yesterday’s problems. What is left is the prospect of state regulation of Britain’s proud free press. …To strengthen press freedoms, he may propose stronger public interest protections for newspapers that want to publish what the powerful try to muzzle. The case against is that the proposals are unworkable, slow and legalistic and address practices that are now supposedly defunct and which they would not have prevented. Above all, the charge runs, they represent state limitation of freedom of speech. Such criticisms are bunk, tired and born of special pleading. The whole exercise smacks of doctors, the Lloyds insurance market, trade union barons, the police and various other special interest groups over the years trying to protect self-regulation that had palpably failed. The brutal truth is that British newspapers have become far too careless about the boundaries between news and comment, too ready to use innuendo to prove a point, too fast to phone-hack/pay for information to stand up hunches that have little or no public interest defence but which serve the political and cultural interests of proprietors.”


Inspired by The Guardian image source Twitter

Timothy Zick the US Constitutional Lawyer, specializing in Federalism and  the 1st Amendment (freedom of speech) has published an article on Aljazeera stating “…some element of the Occupy Wall Street movement may continue to engage in public protests in order to raise public awareness and to remind fellow citizens and officials of their central claims. Democratic protests help the people to continually keep their rulers in check, to hold officials accountable and to remind governors that sovereign power lies not in the institutions of government or public officialdom, but with the governed… At some point, if a democratic protest is to become an effective democratic movement, its members will need to engage in indoor politics. They will need to occupy legislatures, agencies and boards. This will be a unique challenge for the Occupy Wall Street participants, who generally eschew formal hierarchies and engage in non-traditional forms of communication and political decision-making. The challenge for Occupy Wall Street, as for any democratic protest, is to remain true to its core principles while seeking systemic changes from within. The American occupation teaches us that in any democracy, public protest is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for systemic change.”           


Inspired by Timothy Zick image source W&M Law School

Sir Frederick Anderson Goodwin formerly the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) Press aren’t allowed to call him a banker (March 16 2011)

Sir Frederick Anderson Goodwin formerly the chief executive of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) at a secret High Court hearing obtained a super-injunction preventing the United Kingdom media from identifying him as a banker or discussing his affair with a married colleague. The ruling on the basis of privacy effectively gags all media reporting on the affair, leading to the only remaining alternative in the use of parliament privilege by a parliamentary member to disclose the extent of the gag order and its effect on freedom of speech. The use of costly super-injunctions has received much criticism in the UK for covering up celebrity scandals, and their availability to only those with the wealth to effectively purchase them.


Inspired by Steve Swinford image source BadIdea

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