Leveson, Press Freedom and the Watchdogs
Renewal, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2013
10 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2013 Last revised: 12 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 5, 2013
This article focuses on the arguments against statutory underpinning that have been made following the publication of the Leveson report in the UK. In particular, it examines the way that the watchdog function of the press has been asserted to construct a prophylactic rule against any statutory input. The article warns that such an argument is misguided, and could in practice undermine the independence of the press from private sources of power. The article also argues that the independence of the press does not just require protection from direct legal interventions, but demands greater caution and transparency in the informal relations between senior media figures and politicians.
Keywords: press freedom, Leveson, separation of powers, watchdog
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