The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Yes, because I think one of the points which I make in this, and it's a point I make to my students when I'm teaching them, is that we have to think about regulation not only in negative terms but in positive terms.

Now, there was a good deal of discussion this morning about the principles of public service broadcasting, and how they in fact have helped to maintain and indeed protect good journalism, both within the commercial broadcasting system and the BBC. Because these are various forms of thou shalts. Negative regulation is thou shalt not, but positive forms of regulation are thou shalts. So regulating into the system things like diversity, accountability, accessibility, accessibility, to use Onora O'Neill's phrase. These are really really important things, which I think people actually have a right to.

I talk about communicative rights in my submission to the Inquiry, and this I think is really, really important.

So to me, none of these things are proscriptions; rather they're prescriptions. They're encouragements to do better, and in particular they're encouragements to do what the media according to, you know, classical fourth estate theory, et cetera, are supposed to do in a democracy. You know, this is not some kind of wonderful invention by me. This actually is kind of going back in many ways to what the principles of journalism have for a long time proclaimed themselves as, both in the -- particularly in the US, but to some extent in the UK as well, saying, look, you say this is what you're doing, you say you're the fourth estate, you say that you're a watchdog, you say that you're making power accountable to people, but actually you're not living up to these ideals.

In particular, one of the points I make is to argue that it's all very well to talk about journalism speaking truth to power, but journalism very rarely acknowledges its own power, acknowledges that it is a really, really, really important power in the land.

To go back to a point which Ian made just now, one of the reasons why politicians have been so wary, I think, to take on questions about the regulation of the press, both in a positive sense and a negative sense, is because they're actually terrified of the press. But this is not the press being a watchdog. This is the press being an attack dog, and there's a very, very big difference between the two.

Everybody would agree with the importance of the press as a watchdog, keeping watch over corporate power and state power, political power, but also, as Nick Davies and David Leigh have shown, quite brilliantly, in my view, this is a fantastic example of journalism speaking truth to power, but the power here is not the power of the state, it's the power of the Murdoch empire, in this particular instance.

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