A timely post from Times Online’s Archive Blog (via @currybet) given this week’s Trafigura/Carter Ruck/Guardian story on the background to the press’ right to report on parliament, starting in the 18th century.
Last night the Guardian reported that it has been prevented from reporting parliamentary proceedings ‘on legal grounds which appear to call into question privileges guaranteeing free speech established under the 1688 Bill of Rights’.
“Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.”
The only information reported:
“The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.”
But the Spectator, thought to be the first mainstream title to provide more information, has reproduced what it believes is the question being referred to.
Guido was one of, if not the first, bloggers to speculate which question was being prevented from being reported.
Hashtags #gagcarterruck and #guardiangag have now been introduced into the Twittersphere, with a Silent Flashmob planned to take place outside Carter-Ruck’s offices on Thursday, October 15 at 1pm.
More to follow from Journalism.co.uk.