A brilliantly written, concise and accessible summary of the Leveson inquiry and a convincing argument for why we need press reform from an expert on the subject, with an introduction by Hugh Grant, a Hacked Off campaigner, recent witness at the Leveson inquiry and presenter of the Channel 4 documentary Taking on the Tabloids.
When most of the British press conspired to cover up the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World, what did that tell us? That it wasn't just the News of the World that had something to hide. And when the Leveson Inquiry lifted the lid on their activities we saw what it was: illegal practices, dishonesty, a disregard for the rights of ordinary people and an arrogant assumption of unaccountability. Now the battle is on to decide whether anything will change and the editors and proprietors, with their vast propaganda power, are determined to ensure nothing will. This book, by a long-time journalist who is a founder of the Hacked Off campaign, paints a damning picture of press corruption and makes a passionate case for journalism that doesn't bully and lie - journalism that is truly answerable to the public while remaining free from government interference. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get this right, and we must not allow powerful media corporations to snatch that chance from us.
Brian Cathcart has been a journalist for more than thirty years, working for Reuters, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday (where he was deputy editor) and the New Statesman (assistant editor and media columnist). He is the author of several books, including Were You Still Up for Portillo? and the award-winning The Case of Stephen Lawrence. As a journalist he has campaigned for justice for Barry George, who was wrongly convicted of killing Jill Dando, and for the families of the young soldiers killed at Deepcut army barracks. In 2008-10 he was specialist adviser to the Commons media select committee and he has since written about the hacking crisis and media reform for Index on Censorship, Hacked Off, the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Independent, the Daily Beast, CNN, Inforrm and others. He has been professor of journalism at Kingston University London since 2005.