The “Dark Arts,” as the illicit practices adopted by certain members of the British press came to be known, made headlines around the world when the News of the World phone-hacking scandal unravelled in the summer of 2011. The Metropolitan Police was implicated, as were certain politicians, for their inappropriate ties with members of the press. And then, there was Rupert Murdoch himself, who was forced to close down the longstanding News of the World; accept the dissolution of his bid for control of satellite network BSkyB; and step down as director of News International, News Corp’s British division.
After receiving evidence from approximately 637 witnesses, Lord Justice Leveson’s Inquiry into the Culture, Practices and Ethics of the Press issued a report in November 2012 recommending the establishment of an independent self-regulatory body with a statutory underpinning. The report alone caused an uproar within the industry and split the Coalition; and Prime Minister David Cameron’s decision to forego the statutory underpinning of the new watchdog has left victims of the scandal disappointed – with some publically calling it “a compromise of a compromise.”
Journalist and author, Sarah Ellison, and Des Freedman, Reader of Communications and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, will explore the implications of Leveson’s report for media freedom and democratic reform in the second of Media@McGill’s two-part series on The Murdoch Affair and the Leveson Inquiry: A Critical Assessment of the Hackgate Scandal. The panel discussion will take place on Thursday, March 28, at 5:30 p.m. in Leacock 232, 855 Sherbrooke West. It is free and open to the public.
For more information and talk abstracts, visit: www.media.mcgill.ca