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Leveson inquiry: Seminar dates announced as publishers express concern over panel

September 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Investigative journalism, Legal

The make-up of the panel of the Leveson inquiry, the public inquiry which will examine press standards, media regulations and the phone-hacking scandal, has come under criticism for lacking in tabloid and regional press representation.

In July prime minister David Cameron announced the line-up for the panel of experts who would assist with the public inquiry:

  • civil liberties campaigner and director of Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti;
  • former chief constable of the West Midlands, Sir Paul Scott-Lee;
  • former chairman of Ofcom, Lord David Currie;
  • former political editor of Channel 4 news, Elinor Goodman;
  • former political editor of the Daily Telegraph, and former special correspondent of the press association, George Jones;
  • former chairman of the Financial Times, Sir David Bell.

The Guardian reports that Associated Newspapers, publisher of the Daily Mail, as well as Trinity Mirror, the Newspaper Publishers’ Association and Guardian News & Media, raised some concerns about the panel during a hearing today (Wednesday, 28 September).

Leveson indicated that he would consider whether to appoint extra advisers in response to Associated’s complaint. The judge said that he would reserve his decision, noting that the “pressures on the Liverpool Echo will be different to the pressures affecting the Mirror and the Sun; different to the pressures affecting the Observer”.

Today the inquiry also announced the dates for two seminars in connection with the inquiry, to be held on 6 and 12 October, which will explore some of the key public policy issues raised by its terms of reference and to hear expert and public opinion on those. More details on content and participants will be announced on the inquiry website shortly.

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Telegraph: James and Rupert Murdoch to be questioned under oath

August 30th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

The Telegraph reported yesterday that both James and Rupert Murdoch are to be questioned under oath in the High Court as part of the Lord Leveson inquiry into phone hacking.

According to the paper’s report Lord Leveson is also “keen” for the inquiry to be broadcast live. A Cabinet Office spokesman declined to comment on whether the Murdochs will be questioned, but told Journalism.co.uk live coverage of the inquiry is being looked into.  The closing date for submissions to the inquiry is tomorrow, with reportedly “dozens of letters” already having been sent to potential witnesses to ask for their input.

The Murdochs, as well as Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks, both former editors of the News of the World, are likely to be called.

David Cameron and other senior politicians are also likely to be questioned over their links to News International, the parent company of the News of the World.

Today Reuters also reported that lawyers for News International are carrying out “a broad inquiry into reporting practices at all of the company’s UK newspapers”.

Citing sources who have been briefed about the inquiry Reuters reports that lawyers for law firm Linklaters will be “looking for anything that US government investigators might be able to construe as evidence the company violated American law”.

In addition to conducting personal interviews with selected journalists, lawyers will also be looking at email and financial records, said this source.

A News International spokesman confirmed that a review of journalistic standards is underway at News International, which Linklaters is assisting with.

“This is part of a process that started a number of weeks ago and is under the ultimate control of the News Corp board through the independent director Viet Dinh, Joel Klein and the Management and Standards Committee”.

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