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Tim Luckhurst addresses press freedom post-Leveson Inquiry
Professor Tim Luckhursts 32-page pamphlet anticipating the implications of the Leveson inquiry was launched on Thursday 25 October at a central London event chaired by BBC presenter John Humphrys.
The pamphlet, titled Responsibility without Power, seeks to liberate the debate about state-sponsored regulation of the press from the atmosphere of crisis in which it was framed. It also hopes to inform a further debate in which nobody should be astonished to see emerging alliances of convenience in favour of censorship.
Published by Abramis Academic, the pamphlet has already received widespread attention since the launch, which featured a panel discussion on the constitutional threat posed to free speech by statutory regulation of the press. The discussion was chaired by John Humphrys, with panelists including: Professor Luckhurst; Mick Hume, journalist and author of There is No Such Thing as a Free Press...and we need one more than ever; and John Whittingdale MP, Chairman of the House of Commons Media Select Committee.
The event was hosted by the Free Speech Network.
Professor Luckhurst, who is Head of the Universitys award winning Centre for Journalism, said: I have written Responsibility without Power to advance in clear, accessible terms the principled case against state involvement in the regulation of the press. Were Britain to break with centuries of tradition and allow politicians a role in the regulation of newspapers, I fear that illiberal regimes around the world would seize the excuse this would give them to restrict free speech. The British presss capacity to speak truth to power would also be compromised. I am delighted to have this opportunity to inform the debate that will take place when Lord Justice Leveson submits his recommendations and I am very grateful to the supporters of the Free Speech Network who have made it possible for my pamphlet to be published and distributed so widely.
Peter Brown, a final year student in the Centre for Journalism who also attended the event, commented: The discussion was a fantastically engaging event. Thanks to John Humphrys brilliant questioning and mediation skills, every single person in that room could say they were actively involved in the debate.
Copies of Responsibility without Power can be obtained from Abramis Academic www.abramis.co.uk
Story published at 3:19pm 26 October 2012