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There is No Such Thing as a Free Press: .and We Need One More Than Ever (Societas) [Paperback]

Mick Hume
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2012 Societas
The aim of this book is to a launch a polemic for the freedom of the press against all of the attempts to police, defile and sanitise journalism today. Once the media reported the news. Now it makes it. The phone-hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the media has put the UK press under scrutiny and on trial as never before. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Press questions many of today s distorted but widely-held views of the media, and turns the assumptions underlying the current discussion on their head. The problem is not that the UK press has too much freedom to run wild, but too little liberty. The trouble is not that the UK press is too far out-of-control, but that it is far too conformist. The danger is not that press freedom is too open to abuse, but that the British media is not nearly open enough. Mick Hume draws on the lessons of history and cross-examines the evidence from the Leveson Inquiry to take on the army of conformists and regulators who would further tame press freedom.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Imprint Academic (1 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845403509
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845403508
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.6 x 2.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 327,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Mick Hume s book is a rousing defence of free speech, freedom of the Press and the inalienable right to publish and be damned. Every editor, every proprietor in Fleet Street should read it. So should Lord Justice Leveson before he completes his report on press ethics. No buts . --Trevor Kavanagh, Associate Editor, The Sun

A sparky, sarky defence of press freedom for one and all, hacking away the moral high ground from under media-ocrities and other snobs who think that popular is a dirty word. --Julie Burchill, author and journalist

[This book] questions what we mean by ethical journalism, the public interest and a free press, with some splendidly non-conformist answers --Simon Jenkins, the Guardian

A sparky, sarky defence of press freedom for one and all, hacking away the moral high ground from under media-ocrities and other snobs who think that popular is a dirty word. --Julie Burchill, author and journalist

[This book] questions what we mean by ethical journalism, the public interest and a free press, with some splendidly non-conformist answers --Simon Jenkins, the Guardian

About the Author

Mick Hume is a writer and a journalist. He is currently editor-at-large of the online magazine Spiked (www.spiked-online.com). Hume has been writing about issues to do with the media, freedom of expression and a free press for many years. His previous publications include Whose War Is It Anyway? The Dangers of the Journalism of Attachment (1997), and Televictims: Emotional Correctness in the media AD (After Diana) (1998).


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and intelligent polemic 28 Sep 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Mick Hume argues that there is no such thing as a free press in the United Kingdom and his polemic is convincing. It is also intelligent. This is because he explains why media narcissism has generated the political and moral panics that have led to so many bizarre events in recent decades- from the extraordinary mass sentimentality over the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the shutting down of Britain's most successful newspaper 'The News of the World'- with little protest, and the Leveson Inquiry where moral entrepreneurs- mainly powerful and successful celebrities and public figures, are asking for more legal controls and sanctions on a media already shackled by law, politics and culture, and more disturbingly by an internal mind-set.

Mr. Hume declares his interests and past- he was the editor and proprietor of 'Living Marxism'- effectively closed by a libel action that was lost. He writes well and clearly. He draws on the history of John Wilkes, the writings of John Stuart Mill, and George Orwell and in many ways he is part of that awkward, independent and bloody-minded 'against the grain' tradition that has made Great Britain the source of democratic, libertarian and egalitarian values since the Enlightenment.

I am going to recommend it to my students because he covers important ground and analysis. He deals with the increasing problematization of journalism- the 'shooting the messenger' syndrome in terms of the enduring lecture 'I believe in a free press, but...'

Whilst there has and continues to be a great fashion for journalism and media ethics in universities, he justifiably asks 'whose ethics are they anyway?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timely 22 Nov 2012
By Hal
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Sets the current furore over tabloid press abuses in a historical context and in doing so charts the long struggle for press freedom. Hume views the historical struggle for a free press as inseparable from the struggle for greater democracy and rights. Freedom of expression is enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution which prohibits any law infringing the freedom of the press. Freedom of expression and free speech are considered, across the Atlantic at least, as the bedrock of liberty. Yet in Britain the furore over the tabloid press is being used as a cover for creeping legislation to stifle and erode freedom of expression. Hume explains how the 'Leveson Inquisition' represents a full frontal assault on press freedom. A fundamental democratic principle is in danger of being undermined and tossed aside in the clamour to bash the tabloids.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Press freedom - essential reading 12 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback
This is a well written and easily read polemic, but also a serious contribution to the debate on press freedom in the Leveson era. It should be read by every journalist and every would-be journalist - and by every member of the Leveson inquiry.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lone voice? 14 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Well, there's me too (see Watsonworksblog.spot.com), arguing for a free press against Leveson and that Royal Charter, but Mick Hume's book deserves to be read before people make up ther minds 'that the press should be reined in'. Mick's ongoing commentaries can be read on the weekly online newsmag Spiked!
JAMES WATSON, author of 'Media Communication: An Introduction to Theory & Process' (Palgrave)
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
4.0 out of 5 stars Should be on everyone's 'must read;' list 3 Feb 2013
By Robin Henagulph - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First I downloaded to my Kindle and having appreciated it so much have now bought the printed copy so I can annotate easily ...
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