Feb. 18th, 2010

thermalsatsuma: (Default)
Weather - grey. Again.

Work has been too many meetings about meetings about prioritising work rather than actually doing any work, which is both tedious and unproductive. Work at home tomorrow though, so at least I might be able to get something useful done.

The judgement is in on the odious Jan Moir article and in the proverbial nutshell the PCC is not taking any action. Jan Moir has a perfect right to write whatever she pleases (or more precisely what the editor of the Daily Mail judges to be in tune with what readers of the paper that says 'Hurrah for the Blackshirts!' like to read). We, the public, do not have any right not to be offended by her views, but we do have an perfect right to express our opinion about those views. We also have an expectation of factual accuracy in what is reported and a speedy correction in the case of something being wrong. In this case, Moir implied that Gately's death was not natural when the coroner had clearly stated that it was due to natural causes.

This also links in with libel reform. We should have an absolutely free press. If something is written or broadcast that is untrue or inaccurate then an ombudsman should be available to ensure that it is corrected quickly and with the same prominence as the original piece. If something has caused quantifiable damage to someone's reputation or business, then a fast track libel process should be available to make appropriate recompense in a reasonable timespan and at minimal legal cost. If all that is required is an apology and a retraction, then that should happen in weeks rather than years as is currently the case.

The BBC is in a different position though. They are expected to be neutral and unbiased, whereas newspapers can stick to one political viewpoint. I would say that the BBC should be able to broadcast a wide range of opinions and material, including comedy that it potentially offensive, with broad balance across the whole network rather than in just one programme.

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thermalsatsuma

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