First thoughts on a 2000-page report

Forget Christmas, it’s Leveson Day, and all is far from silent…

Some people managed to have reactions to today’s report of the Leveson Inquiry up and on the web very quickly.  I’m not one of them – I didn’t have an advance copy, and I wanted to have a proper read of it (and was travelling and at meetings for part of the day); needless to say I haven’t quite got around to every paragraph yet, so I’ve been reading the bits I’m interested in.  I have particular sympathy for journalists trying to digest and report on it for deadlines, and will be very grateful to read what they have written, but these posts are going to take a different approach.  In particular, I don’t intend to try and get the sense of the whole report, and I’m disregarding whole sections (such as that about the police), which I’ve read less carefully and don’t have much background knowledge on.  One other thought is that there is no obvious link between the detail (and perhaps even the importance) of discussion in the report on one hand and specific recommendations on the other.  The material on the influence of the press on politicians is valuable and fascinating, but it was always going to be difficult to make a list of recommendations (let alone legal recommendations).  Could it be that the hearings and report will carry weight, as a type of deliberative process with a type of moral adjudication added on?

Anyway, with all of those caveats in mind, here are links to my posts.  Please forgive errors, it has been a long day!

Regulation: where I touch on the proposed regulatory system, how many bodies there should be, the influence of the Irish model, the role of Ofcom, and the Prime Minister’s response.

The Internet: because this is the bit I’ve been following most closely.  In this section I also talk about how the report talks about ATVOD (for on-demand AV media).

Data protection: a real surprise that there was so much on this (and so many recommendations!).  May you live in interesting times, etc.

Devolution: a discussion of things that are not in the report but which I believe will affect its implementation, in relation to Scotland in particular. 

And I should say, for the record, that it is a useful, well-referenced and thorough (2000 pages!) report, and my observations are offered as constructive criticism; I’ve focused on issues of dispute or controversy because a post on the hundreds of paragraphs without problems would hardly draw you, the reader, to read on…

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