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

A classic example. Had the decision been taken not to put the photograph in -- and as I think in one of the courts, at any rate, it was raised: why not use a sort of -- you know, just an ordinary picture of her and not outside her front door? We don't know. But my reading of the House of Lords judgment is it might have gone a different way. It was only 3-2 anyway. It might have gone a different way. So there's one decision on the picture, possibly have a huge impact on the legality of that story. So when I think -- when newspaper lawyers talk about working at the coalface, I think what they mean is it's not an academic issue of whether it's a breach of privacy; it's about words, pictures, headlines.

With libel as well, one of the things that -- tabloids are not only brilliantly written; they're brilliantly presented and set out. The headlines hit you. If you look at the tabloid stories that have been presented to you and you're looking through those, I'm sure you will see straight away the impact it makes. They're very professionally produced on the impact, so that again, if you just look at a story by itself and look at it and say, well, is it balanced and does it have "alleged" in it or whatever, you can very easily come to the conclusion -- it's not the same as how it would appear in the paper. When it appears in the paper with a big banner headline and big bold letters and pictures, it sort of has an extra life of its own, and I think that's something, again, that one who is working at the coalface has to be aware of.

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