Friday, June 13, 2014

Open Letter to the CEO of Index on Censorship

 

 

Jodie,

I’ve happily done a little bit here and there for Index. A speech at an event, an article, a bid at an auction or a table at a fundraiser. I don’t claim to be the biggest donor to Index, over the years perhaps my support has been in the low thousands.

I will never give another penny to Index as long as Steve Coogan is involved.

Paul Staines

Editor Guido Fawkes’ Blog
Guido.Fawkes@Order-Order.com

Steve Coogan: Bouncing Back

Sad to see Steve Coogan hit his career low at Hacked Off, Guido welcomes the news of his rehabilitation today. Coogan becomes a patron for free speech pressure group Index on Censorship, who campaign on press freedom around the world. Presumably this meansethical standard bearer Coogan admits he was wrong to try to gag newspapers from writing about coke and hookers. He says:

“Creative and artistic freedom of expression is something to be cherished where it exists and fought for where it doesn’t. This is what Index on Censorship does. I am pleased to lend my support and patronage to such an important cause.”

Of course it could just be that Index, once brave and noble fighters in the name of freedom, have badly lost their way, as Nick Cohen argues here

UPDATE: Quote of the day is also from Steve Coogan.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hacked Off Seek EU Diktat to Force Through New Press Laws
Watson Backs Brussels Directive on Media Ownership

After Sajid Javid signalled that he wanted to put the issue of press regulation “to bed”, Hacked Off last night called for an EU directive to force through new laws and overrule the Culture Secretary. Evan Harris and Natalie Fenton, two of the group’s directors, endorsed a new campaign aiming to secure a petition of one million signatures and seek a diktat from Brussels to set limits on media ownership at a European level.

The campaign, which has the somewhat sinister name ‘Reclaim the Media’, is backed by the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the National Union of Journalists, the Trades Union Council and Labour’s Tom Watson, who was due to chair last night’s meeting but failed to attend after he was “unavoidably detained in his constituency”Evan Harris’ face told you everything you need to know about the prospects for Hacked Off’s latest doomed venture…

Click to enlarge.

MediaGuido was particularly interested by a series of graphs provided at the meeting. Reclaim the Media’s campaign for plurality focuses on the Murdoch and Rothermere titles, despite their own evidence showing that it is actually the BBC that enjoys unrivalled dominance in the news industry. Confused Labour MP John McDonnell suggested the motives were personal: “there are thousands of asylum seekers locked up because the government is pandering to the racism of the Daily Mail”, adding that MPs were “petrified by the bucket of sh*t that The Sun pours on you”. Yet according to their own evidence it isn’t the Mail or the Sun that threaten press plurality, it is the BBC…

Thursday, April 17, 2014

FT Rejects IPSO, Sets Up Own Regulator

FT editor Lionel Barber says the paper will set up its own mechanism to deal with complaints. It won’t be part of the new IPSO press regulator:

The Financial Times stands for an independent press, free of economic and political interference. We therefore support efforts to create a more robust system of independent regulation for the industry in the wake of the Leveson inquiry.

After careful consideration, the FT has decided to put in place a system which is accountable, credible, robust and highly adaptable to meet the pace of change in our industry. We believe this approach is consistent with our record of journalistic excellence and integrity, and it builds on our already strong system of governance designed to maintain the highest possible ethical standards.

The FT has established a track record for treading its own path at a time of wrenching change in the news business. We have consistently taken decisions which have marked a break with established industry practice when it is the right thing to do for our readers and business.

Our approach reflects the FT’s standing as an increasingly digital news operation with a global footprint. More than three-quarters of our readers are now outside the UK. Our main competitors are global news organisations, each of which applies its own system of independent regulation. There is no industry standard.

The FT has been a longstanding member of the Press Complaints Commission, which is due to expire shortly. Readers will therefore no longer have recourse to the PCC as an independent service for dealing with complaints. In its place, we will set up a new mechanism to handle reader complaints in the event that they feel our internal procedures fail to provide an adequate response or redress.

Two points are relevant here. First, our record at the PCC in recent years shows that in the overwhelming majority of cases the FT has been exonerated from criticism. Second, the FT is always willing to deal with complaints expeditiously and, if warranted, publish a clarification, correction or apology.

Nevertheless, we recognise that we need to provide additional reassurances in the post-PCC world. We will therefore be creating a new position of editorial complaints commissioner. The remit and reporting line will be set out in a public advertisement in due course. The successful candidate will be appointed by a three-person committee and will be independent of the editor.

In addition, the FT will continue to provide platforms for readers to comment on articles and participate in discussion with our reporters and commentators. We believe our conversation with readers around the world is important. Understanding what they need and value is vital to our success as a news organisation.

The FT will continue to engage with our peers in the industry. Every newspaper and news group must make their own choice regarding regulation. At this point, we have decided to plot our own course. We are committed to best practice and determined to uphold the high standards that have served the FT and our readers so well over the past 126 years.

Saying thanks but no thanks to Brian, the Royal Charter and IPSO…

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Time For Watson to Launch Corrections and Clarifications Page

Oh the beautiful irony. Tom Watson put his X-Box down for ten minutes to have a go at Labour for playing up Ed as a strong leader like Thatcher. ‘It’s highly likely that a spin doctor, working for Ed, chose to persuade people that he really would “Govern like Thatcher”‘ he blogged. Within an hour or so it was a full reverse ferret:

“Tom Baldwin, an adviser to Ed Miliband has been in touch to say: “For the record, I didn’t mention thatcher once in all the lobby briefing around the speech. Truth is, I suspect, they got together and constructed line themselves.”

Perhaps he should have checked his facts before he mixed opinion and news? Time for a due-prominence apology, for sure.

This is not the first time Watson has cocked up like this.

Remember when he accused Guido of selling drugs to George Osborne at a rave?

Or when he had to apologise to Nick Robinson for accusing him of being a Murdoch stooge in his book?

Maybe he should add a permanent corrections and clarifications section to his website, as they’re piling up…

It’s what Brian Leveson would want…

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Speccie Awards: The Results

20131107-145133.jpg

The 15 rebels who said no to press regulation.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Exclusive: Cops Trying to Remove Private Eye From Shops

Police are requesting “on behalf of the Crown Prosecution Service” that magazine vendors refrain from selling today’s edition of Private Eye. This afternoon two plain clothes policemen asked this vendor working outside Farringdon Station to take down this week’s Eye. When the vendor, who does not wish to be named, asked them why, they said it was at the request of the CPS, specifically because of the cover featuring Rebekah Brooks. They showed identification. The vendor told the cops he would keep selling them unless they produced a court order. Chilling…

Down the road at the nearby Old Bailey potential jurors were asked if they were readers of Private Eye or Guido Fawkes during the selection process. If they answered affirmatively they were excused from jury service. Anyone else a little hacked off by all this?

UPDATE:  Index on Censorship – the free speech campaign with offices near Farringdon Station – went to check for themselves:

The judge doesn’t find Private Eye amusing:

UPDATE: 17.24 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hacked Off Spinner Wanted

Fancy a job spinning to the very journalists your lobbyist bosses want the state to regulate? Hacked Off are looking for a new comms manager to lead their media strategy. Advertised in the Guardian naturally. Crisis management and “handling strong personalities” are required attributes for the successful candidate, who will also need to be able to put up with subbing Brian Cathcart’s blogs. Even better if you’ve got a parliamentary pass

LISTEN: Miliband Vows “Big Fight” Against Fleet Street

Scoop from the FT this morning: Miliband talked about his plan to declare war on Fleet Street at a private dinner for Labour donors. Guido has the recording, made by a Labour member:

“Look, this fight is going to be such a big fight that we’ve got to be willing to call these people out. We’ve got to be willing to call these people out. The days when the newspapers and the news media could attack us without response are over. Because actually they are less powerful than people ever thought and they are less powerful now than they were. And it is incredibly important that we fight back against them.”

Hard to imagine a party leader talking about any other industry in terms of how it is struggling, then in the next sentence describing how he wants to “fight” them. Sure Ed will be delighted by the Eric Honecker comparison in the introduction as well…

Friday, October 18, 2013

LIBOR Media Advisory Note: Strictly Not For Publication

From the Attorney General’s Office:

Media Advisory Note: strictly not for publication
17 October 2013

Current LIBOR trials

Former Citigroup and UBS Trader Tom Hayes has been charged with eight counts of conspiracy to defraud. These charges arise from the on-going LIBOR investigation. A Plea and Case Management Hearing is listed for the 21st October at Southwark Crown Court. Two other defendants charged with LIBOR related offences, Terry Farr and James Gilmour, will also be appearing on that date.

Editors and publishers are reminded of their responsibilities under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.The Attorney General is conscious that this case will be of particular interest to City and financial journalists who may be less familiar with the law of contempt then colleagues who more regularly report on the criminal courts. The Attorney General asks that editors and publishers take steps to ensure all online and hard copy editions of their publications avoid any commentary or reporting which may pose a risk of breaching the Contempt of Court Act.

In particular, the Attorney General draws attention to the risks in publishing material that asserts or assumes, expressly or implicitly, the guilt of an accused person or that otherwise interferes with the administration of justice in this case – such as by pre-empting the decision of the trial Judge or Judges as to the evidence to be called before the jury.

Editors and publishers should take legal advice to ensure they are in a position to fully comply with the obligations they are subject to under the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

Ironically you can read the names that the Wall Street Journal were forced to pull from their website by a Court Order in the bastion of freedom that is China. They are in the print edition of the WSJ Asia Edition..


Seen Elsewhere

Grayling: Bercow Faces Questions | Sun
Paul Flynn Could Learn a Lot From a Trip to Israel | Breitbart
50 Shades of Grayling | Speccie
Bercow’s £12,000 of VIP Sporting Freebies | Sun
Aldous Huxley v George Orwell | FatPita
Blinkered BBC is Ripe for Reform | David Keighley
Calls for Bercow to Face Inquiry | Mail
Labour Mad to Fight Tories on Tax | Dan Hodges
Right to be Forgotten is a Disaster | Padraig Reidy
Dave Could Be Finished Before 50 | James Forsyth
Why Do Politicians Keep Getting Caught on Tape? | BBC


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Knifed former civil service chief Bob Kerslake on his recent troubles:

“Many thks for kind wishes following back opn. Incision measured 16cm. A pretty big knife in the back! Photos on request.”



TJ says:

And i’ve noticed that 100% of Guido Fawkes staff are men. Looks like Guido has a woman problem. Or is it an hypocrisy problem?


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