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

I don't think I was, sir, actually. I mean off-the-record briefings, there has always been a problem understanding what the term "off the record" means. To some people it can mean "not for attributation". For others it can mean "not to be used at any cost, Chatham House rules". I would understand "off-the-record briefings" in the way the question was put to mean: typically you've been -- I might give one -- well, an example where there is a press conference held about a high-profile murder, and this is a general press conference with everybody invited. It's held on camera, and there could be reasons why investigating officers want to put their inquiry into context. There will be specific operational reasons.

So on those occasions, when the cameras have been switched off and the crews have gone away, journalists will be -- will remain in the press room typically at New Scotland Yard, in reference to the Met, but other forces have used the same tactic, I suppose you could say. So journalists would remain and then there would be an off-camera section where you could put questions and senior officers would try and put a context into the investigation. So, for instance, if you -- if one newspaper or TV company had been speculating rather unhelpfully about suspects, you might be given sort of detail around that.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech