Alastair Campbell: Time and chance for a new settlement between politics, media and public

Seguimos a vueltas con las relaciones entre medios de comunicación, políticos y el público o -mejor- los ciudadanos:

(…) The latest revelations have forced the police, News International and the government to act. The police will now be more vigorous. News International will continue with their kamikaze crisis management, which one day will be studied as a textbook case of how not to do it. But the most important developments are the prime minister’s dual inquiries into press practices and a new system of regulation. These mean we now have a once in a generation opportunity for a new settlement between politics, the media and the public. Nobody can argue that we have the press we deserve. Pressured by technological change, a dominant strain of Britain’s media has gone into a spiral of decline, in which this scandal is only the most dramatic development.

Mr Cameron did not look comfortable announcing the reviews. He has personal relationships at stake and, given he hired Andy Coulson as his communications director, his judgment is too. Already the backlash from parts of the press has begun as they seek to maintain that anything but toothless self-regulation is an assault on a free press. But Mr Cameron must stand back from all of that, and ask himself: “what is the right thing to do?” He did some of it last Friday.

The judicial inquiry should be far-reaching. The News of the World is far from alone in the use of dubious and illegal practices, as widely ignored reports from the Information Commissioner have shown. Parts of Britain’s media remind me of the trade unions before Mrs Thatcher. They feel untouchable. (…)

Alastair Campbell

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