Professor Brian Cathcart
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Brian Cathcart is director of Hacked Off, the campaign for free and accountable media, and professor of journalism at Kingston University London. He was a journalist for Reuters, the Independent, the Independent on Sunday (where he was deputy editor) and the News Statesman (assistant editor), and is the author of seven books, including the award-winning The Case of Stephen Lawrence (Viking, 1999) and recently Everybody's Hacked Off (Penguin, 2012). His engagement with Hacked Off, of which he was one of the founders, has its roots in his journalism teaching and also in his work as a media columnist for the New Statesman, when he wrote about the Madeleine McCann affair. In 2008-10 he was specialist adviser to the House of Commons select committee on culture, media and sport for its inquiry into press standards and phone hacking. He gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry and to other parliamentary inquiries and has written, spoken and broadcast on many occasions on press regulation and related matters.

Entries by Professor Brian Cathcart

The Table of Statistics the Press Complaints Commission Would Rather You Didn't See

(13) Comments | Posted 31 January 2014 | (23:00)

You might think that any institution dedicated to upholding an industry's code of practice would want to be clear how many times that code was broken and which companies were the most frequent offenders. Not the Press Complaints Commission (PCC).

Answering questions before the Commons media select committee...

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The Royal Charter in 2014, and the Prime Minister's Thoughts

(4) Comments | Posted 6 January 2014 | (23:00)

This country is now very close to settling a problem that has plagued it for generations. The problem was this: how to protect ordinary citizens from lying, bullying and unjustified intrusion carried out in the name of journalism, while at the same time ensuring that journalists were free to do...

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The Folly of the Newspapers' IPSO Scheme

(2) Comments | Posted 6 December 2013 | (15:28)

Deaf to everyone else and in denial about their own disgraceful record, the people who run Britain's biggest newspaper groups are forging ahead with their 'IPSO' scheme to regulate their affairs on their own terms.

It can't be said often or plainly enough: hardly a soul outside...

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Another Weary Myth: '300 Years of Press Freedom'

(14) Comments | Posted 11 November 2013 | (23:00)

It's almost a mantra now for the few people still resisting the modest and cautious reforms embodied in the Royal Charter: they keep saying that three centuries of press freedom in this country are under threat. Here is that claim in the Mirror, the Express, the...

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For the Public Benefit: Why Everyone Should Back the Royal Charter on Press Self-Regulation

(12) Comments | Posted 15 October 2013 | (00:00)

Much of the press has wildly misread the public mood on press reform. After a weekend of Leveson-bashing and breathless attacks on the Royal Charter agreed by parliament, a new poll conducted by YouGov for the Media Standards Trust and reported in the Guardian shows public...

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The Top 20 Benefits of Parliament's Royal Charter

(18) Comments | Posted 8 October 2013 | (00:00)

Parliament's Royal Charter, which implements the Leveson recommendations and is endorsed by all parties in Parliament, will benefit everyone and will enhance freedom of expression.

These are the top 20 benefits:

Benefits for ordinary people

1. If a news publisher has harmed you in a way that breaches the...

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There Is No Impasse - There Is a Process

(4) Comments | Posted 16 September 2013 | (00:00)

Editors, we hear, are filing one by one through the door of Downing Street, bending the prime minister's ear about royal charters and press regulators. You must do something, they warn him, or there will be an impasse, a stalemate.

They are wrong. There is no impasse; there is a...

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Papers Scale the Height of Hypocrisy

(10) Comments | Posted 29 July 2013 | (00:00)

Over the past week several national newspapers have inflated a great balloon of speculation about a supposedly suppressed 'hacking' scandal and then worked themselves into a frenzy of indignation that nothing is being done about it.

We are asked to believe that while the poor newspapers...

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The Public Tells the Press Bosses: Do What Leveson Proposed

(15) Comments | Posted 24 July 2013 | (00:00)

On 8 July a group of leading newspaper proprietors unveiled the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), their fourth attempt in two years at designing a replacement for the failed Press Complaints Commission.

Today they have their answer, as once again a reputable opinion poll has...

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A Simple Choice: The Interests of the Public or the Self-Interest of the Press Barons

(14) Comments | Posted 20 July 2013 | (00:00)

Arguing with the press, it has been said, is like attending a dinner party where one of the guests speaks only through a megaphone. Meaningful dialogue is difficult.

So it is in the debate about press self-regulation. Every voice raised in support of Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations is drowned...

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Royal Charter: The Wait Goes On

(1) Comments | Posted 6 July 2013 | (00:00)

It is an ugly spectacle: a Cabinet minister being pushed around in public by a powerful and unscrupulous vested interest. But that seems to be what is happening to Maria Miller, the secretary of state for culture, media and sport - and she is not putting up much of a...

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An Arrogant 'Concession'

(41) Comments | Posted 11 May 2013 | (00:00)

Hold the front page! The newspaper bosses are making concessions - and apparently they think we should be grateful. There seems to be no limit to their vanity, and their nerve.

We have a Royal Charter that has been approved - most unusually for any political action -...

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The Real Royal Charter: Ten Gains for the Public

(7) Comments | Posted 1 May 2013 | (00:00)

The Royal Charter on the press that was approved by all parties in Parliament on 18 March will benefit the public in many ways.

The Charter, which is based on the recommendations of the year-long Leveson Inquiry and has the support of many victims of press abuses, creates a...

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Why Britain Had to Act on Press Abuses

(7) Comments | Posted 12 April 2013 | (00:00)

Americans may think the British have gone mad. In the homeland of John Wilkes and William Cobbett, of John Milton and John Stuart Mill, Parliament has backed the regulation of the press. Moreover, this is to be done using the medieval instrument of a royal charter. To outward appearances this...

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