The press cannot regulate itself

The main mass circulation UK newspapers have set up IPSO to regulate themselves. Everyone else wants something independent of the newspapers to regulate the industry. The main alternative proposal is Impress, supported by Max Mosley and the Rowntree Trust.

The newspapers say that if anyone else controls them it could mean the end of press . . . → Read More: The press cannot regulate itself

How transparent is it possible to be?

Vodafone is trying to put pressure on the government to allow it to disclose requests for wiretaps. Vodafone aims to follow in the footsteps of Google which has been issuing ‘transparency reports’ for a few years.

As the Guardian reports, UK regulations make even the disclosure of the existence of warrants an offence. The current . . . → Read More: How transparent is it possible to be?

Shredding Reputations

How should the media be regulated?

The painful accounts of intrusion into private lives by the newspapers that the Leveson Inquiry has revealed should provoke some government reaction. Is there a danger that ‘good’ journalism will be regulated away in some fashion in the name of protecting privacy? Will some instances of bad behaviour by . . . → Read More: Shredding Reputations

Transparently in Trouble

The current controversies about transparency, privacy and free speech raise very many issues:

the difference between the public interest and what the public is interested in the relative access to justice of the rich and of the poor the right roles of parliament and the courts the balancing of privacy against freedom of expression the . . . → Read More: Transparently in Trouble

Feeding Frenzy

The IDS of Sussex University has just released a report that addresses the world’s need for food. Yet the headlines say the the world needs GM and new technologies. What is going on?

The report was produced for the UK government’s BIS. It points out that the reasons for hunger today are complex, including political . . . → Read More: Feeding Frenzy

Guardian Sustainable Business Site

The Guardian today launches its sustainable business website. See @GuardianSustBiz

Should be a good resource for all things business and sustainable, including useful summaries of individual companies’ performance and positioning on sustainability.

I am on its Advisory Board.

Public Boundaries, Private Need?

Should the BBC voluntarily limit itself and commit to doing less to ‘get out of the way’ of the private sector?

That rather presumes that whatever the private sector can do, it should do. So after the BBC: the NHS, the universities, and the rest of the public sector?

We currently have no way, as . . . → Read More: Public Boundaries, Private Need?

Global Warming: Fact and Friction

How many errors does it take to discredit something? The two errors found per thousand pages is not a bad rate. There are very few other documents, from any source, that achieve anything as low as that.

Of course it’s not just in the numbers but also in the overall judgment. Here we need cogent . . . → Read More: Global Warming: Fact and Friction

Racial antiVenom

The Question Time program with Nick Griffin attracted over 8m viewers – the highest ever for any episode. What a pity that the quality of discussion seemed to be the lowest ever.

Nick Griffin and the BNP attract so much venom and raise so many issues, that especially at the start of the program, most . . . → Read More: Racial antiVenom

The enemy is unwelcome publicity

The official UK guidance on leaks relating to defence matters appears to be that transparency is a bad thing. Alarmingly, what seems to matter most is not just undermining government policy but also simply causing embarrassment to the government.

Of course there are clearly things which are better left unsaid (although most of those are . . . → Read More: The enemy is unwelcome publicity