142-Witness-Statement-of-Alastair-Campbell - For...

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Unformatted text preview: For Distribution To CPs SUBMISSION TO TI=I-E LF.VESON INQUIRY FROM ALASTAIR.CAMPBELlo Thank you for your. tetter drawing attention to my statement of 2004 that if the public knew. the tru.th about the way Certain sections of.the media operate, they would be absolutely horrified and asking me. to. elaborate. I would like to preface my remarks.by saying, that although there is much that is wrong with British journalism, there remains a good deal of quality joumafism, and many journalists who see journalism as.a noble calling and.practise it in that spirit, with a commitment to inform, educate, and entertain. One of Rupert Murdoch!s Australi.an executives once said to me Britain has the best press in the world, and the worst press in the world, and sometimes it is in the same edition. Indeed, when I made the statement to which your letter drew attention,. I said in the same breath that there .. are plenty of good journalists, in the UK and it was in the interest of everyone that the many g0odjoumalists stand up .against the bad. There is now., with this inquiry and hopefully a change in regulation and o.ver time a change in.culture, the opportunity for the best to regain the upper hand on the worst, who have. undoubtedly set.the tone in recent years. I was a journalist for most of my adult life before working for Tony Blair. I went into journal- ism because it is fun, exciting and because it matters. It is an important part o.f our culture.and national and local life. It can mal~e, a difference for the better. It can provide people with in- formation, understandirtg and aceess to people, places and issues they would not otherwise have. Being a journalist is a privileged position. If any of my children said they wished tobe journalists,. I would be happy with that. It is partly the.journalist in me, every bit as. much.as MOD100048893 For Distribution To CPs the political figure who has been on the receiving end of media excesses, that rages at what the media has become.. The centre of gravity in our press has moved to a bad place; the combined forces, of techno- logical change, intense competition, an obsession with celebrity, a culture of negativity, and amorality among. SOme of the industry s leaders and practitioners have accelerated a down- market trend, and accelerated too the sense of desperation in the. pursuit of stories. Speed now comes ahead o.f accuracy, impact comes ahead of fairness, and in parts of the press anything .goes to get the. story fus.t.. Whilst a free press should always be fought for~ the impact upon our culture and our punic life of w.hat the press in Britain has become has a large debit side alongside the credit that freedom brings~ A SUMMARY OF THI~ DEBIT SIDE So though I admire many journalists and much journalism, as the quote you refer to and other comments I have made over the years make obvicms, I also beiieve that there are serious and endemic shortcomings in the culture, practices and ethics of the. British media. I believe theseendemic shortcomings in the culture, practices and ethics of the....
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142-Witness-Statement-of-Alastair-Campbell - For...

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