Following today’s announcement that the 3 main parties have agreed to a deal for regulating the press following on from the Leveson Inquiry, IoI director Claire Fox has called for journalists to emulate the ‘great heroes of modern liberty’ in refusing to bow to state regulation of the media.
Declaring Lord Justice Leveson ‘the grandee who effectively ended 300 years of press freedom,’ Fox argues that regardless of the form the legislation takes, Leveson’s ‘chilling’ impact as has made it ‘inevitable’ that journalists now face being tamed by ‘the Privy Council, an ancient body which most of us are more familiar with from reading Hilary Mantel’ than ‘a modern democracy.’
Speaking ahead of the Battle of Ideas on 19-20 October, Fox compares the challenge posed by Leveson to John Milton’s attack on Puritan censorship in the Areopagitica, arguing that we ‘must be braver…unashamedly take on our adversaries and loudly proclaim the virtues of a free press.”
The Battle of Ideas will debate the proposals on 20th October at the Barbican in the session ‘Leveson one year on: what future for press freedom?’
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"Battle of Ideas could be called Search for Truth. Mundane consensus and conventional wisdom are the enemies of truth. Happily, neither of those are available at the Battle."
George Pitcher, journalist; Anglican priest, St Bride's Church, Fleet Street