Saturday, 1 December 2012

Press Ownership

Letter to Guardian 30 November 2012

Harold Evans is bang on target (A clever solution – but why the silence on ownership? - Guardian 30 November). In all the howling and squealing about the need to ‘maintain the freedom of the press’ hardly anyone is addressing this key issue. Freedom only has meaning if equal access and diversity is guaranteed. For Cameron et al to cry wolf about ‘state interference’ and the danger of overthrowing a long and proud tradition of a free press displays a lack of knowledge of history. The press throughout its short history has been censored by the ruling elite with, fines, bans and stamp duties imposed to prevent the publication of popular, usually,working class newspapers. Only since the increasing concentration of ownership in the hands of the wealthy has the state ceased hounding the press. Leveson’s modest suggestion is, in any case, not calling for state regulation, simply giving a putative regulatory body statutory powers; otherwise it would remain a toothless poodle like the present Press Complaints Commission.

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