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More Leveson

Post  Chris on Mon 16 Jan - 18:41

I have been catching up on some of the witnesses I have missed over the last week or two. One very interesting one was Chris Atkins who made the film Starsuckers. If you want some insight on how the media "closed shop" works and how influential PR chappies can kill or promote stories his witness statement is well worth a read.

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Witness-Statement-of-Chris-Atkins1.pdf

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Re: More Leveson

Post  LJC on Mon 16 Jan - 21:37

Thanks for the link Chris.

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Panda on Tue 31 Jan - 10:56

Press Watchdog Scrutinised At Leveson Inquiry










PCC commissioner Lord Grade moved into broadcasting after
starting his career at the Daily Mirror


10:15am UK, Tuesday January 31, 2012


Lord Grade is due to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics
as the panel continues its scrutiny of the Press Complaints Commission
(PCC).



The former boss of BBC, ITV and Channel 4 will appear in his role of PCC
commissioner.

The press watchdog has been criticised by a number
of witnesses at the inquiry, who have said the embattled organisation does
not have enough powers to be effective.

Kate and Gerry McCann, Charlotte Church, Sienna Miller and JK Rowling have all told
Lord Justice Leveson the PCC failed to
protect them from alleged press harassment.

On Monday, former PCC director Tim Toulmin defended the body, insisting it is
not a "formal regulator" but more of an "ombudsman".

"I think it's a complaints body," he added, "It's an industry coming together
to create a complaints scheme really, I think, and so I don't think it's a
regulator, no."

Also giving evidence today will be PCC chairman and ex-British ambassador to
the US, Sir Christopher Meyer.

He will be joined by the new chairman of the PCC, Lord Hunt, who has been
campaigning for a reform of the organisation.

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Re: More Leveson

Post  margaret on Tue 31 Jan - 12:40

Chris wrote:I have been catching up on some of the witnesses I have missed over the last week or two. One very interesting one was Chris Atkins who made the film Starsuckers. If you want some insight on how the media "closed shop" works and how influential PR chappies can kill or promote stories his witness statement is well worth a read.

http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Witness-Statement-of-Chris-Atkins1.pdf

Thanks for that Chris, very interesting - especially that CR were hired to threaten them - the bully boys of the legal world!

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Re: More Leveson

Post  AnnaEsse on Tue 31 Jan - 12:46

So, instead of going through the PCC as an initial resource available to them, they went straight for the money?!!

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Re: More Leveson

Post  gillyspot on Tue 31 Jan - 12:52

From Gerry's Testimony (under oath) in 2009.

"355. On 13 July 2007, two months later, Gerry McCann met Sir Christopher Meyer, the then PCC Chairman. The meeting was by chance; Mr McCann had visited Lady Meyer, who runs a charity concerned with missing and abducted children. Sir Christopher took the opportunity to explain how the PCC could help the McCanns and pass on some PCC literature.[318] Sir Christopher held one further brief meeting with the McCanns on 29 February 2008 during which he 'repeated that the PCC stood ready to help, if need be'.[319]

356. The PCC was able to provide some help, and Gerry McCann expressed to us his gratitude for this:

"Aspects with the PCC have been helpful in terms of protecting privacy particularly for our twins, which was a major concern for us. They were continuing to be photographed and we wanted that stopped. Very quickly that was taken up by the press and broadcasters within the UK. We are thankful for that. There was also help in removing photographers from outside our drive after what we felt was a very over long period, when news had really gone quite quiet and we were still being subjected to camera lenses up against our car with the twins in the back, which was inappropriate."[320]
357. The McCanns did not, however, make a formal complaint to the PCC about newspaper reporting, of the sort which would have prompted a formal inquiry. Mr McCann told us that an informal conversation he had held with Sir Christopher suggested that legal action would be the best way to deal with the libels,[321] and that "the advice from both the PCC and our legal advisers was that the PCC was not the route."[322]

358. The McCanns' lawyer, Adam Tudor, explained the advice he had given to the couple:

"We had a conversation about the PCC when Kate and Gerry first came to Carter-Ruck. It was quite a short conversation. The PCC is perceived, to a considerable extent still correctly, as being wholly media-friendly. It lacks teeth. It cannot award damages. It cannot force apologies. As soon as there is any dispute of fact between the newspaper and the victim of the libel, the PCC backs off and says, 'This needs to go to law."[323]"

Not entirely true I think the PCC would go further if truth was in doubt, but it does say something about Carter-Ruck

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmcumeds/362/36208.htm

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Chris on Tue 31 Jan - 12:57

gillyspot wrote:From Gerry's Testimony (under oath) in 2009.

"355. On 13 July 2007, two months later, Gerry McCann met Sir Christopher Meyer, the then PCC Chairman. The meeting was by chance; Mr McCann had visited Lady Meyer, who runs a charity concerned with missing and abducted children. Sir Christopher took the opportunity to explain how the PCC could help the McCanns and pass on some PCC literature.[318] Sir Christopher held one further brief meeting with the McCanns on 29 February 2008 during which he 'repeated that the PCC stood ready to help, if need be'.[319]

356. The PCC was able to provide some help, and Gerry McCann expressed to us his gratitude for this:

"Aspects with the PCC have been helpful in terms of protecting privacy particularly for our twins, which was a major concern for us. They were continuing to be photographed and we wanted that stopped. Very quickly that was taken up by the press and broadcasters within the UK. We are thankful for that. There was also help in removing photographers from outside our drive after what we felt was a very over long period, when news had really gone quite quiet and we were still being subjected to camera lenses up against our car with the twins in the back, which was inappropriate."[320]
357. The McCanns did not, however, make a formal complaint to the PCC about newspaper reporting, of the sort which would have prompted a formal inquiry. Mr McCann told us that an informal conversation he had held with Sir Christopher suggested that legal action would be the best way to deal with the libels,[321] and that "the advice from both the PCC and our legal advisers was that the PCC was not the route."[322]

358. The McCanns' lawyer, Adam Tudor, explained the advice he had given to the couple:

"We had a conversation about the PCC when Kate and Gerry first came to Carter-Ruck. It was quite a short conversation. The PCC is perceived, to a considerable extent still correctly, as being wholly media-friendly. It lacks teeth. It cannot award damages. It cannot force apologies. As soon as there is any dispute of fact between the newspaper and the victim of the libel, the PCC backs off and says, 'This needs to go to law."[323]"

Not entirely true I think the PCC would go further if truth was in doubt, but it does say something about Carter-Ruck

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmcumeds/362/36208.htm

Meyer has denied he specifically gave advice that they should go to law. He said they discussed alternative courses of action (PCC or law) but that he made no recommendation in July 2007. By Feb 2008 he believes they had already engaged CR to take action.

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Panda on Tue 31 Jan - 14:07

I watched the PCC meeting where The McCanns and Max Moseley were giving evidence and the PCC had no idea of questions to be asked and lacked any
credibility as a body aware of what goes on in the Media and their title is misleading" Press Complaints Committee " suggests they can investigate
complaints. I believe an Editor from one of the Dailies was on the Committee at the time. Bring back the likes of Mary Whitehouse I say, half the number
of Newspapers, far too many for such a small Country, and a Committee with more power.

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Annabel on Tue 31 Jan - 14:35

Leveson Inquiry: Sir Christopher Meyer - live Guardian News Blog

By Josh Halliday and Dugald Baird
Tuesday 31 January 2012

- Extract -

10.06am: Sir Christopher Meyer is the first witness of the day. He was chairman of the PCC from 2003 to 2009.

(...)

Leveson inquiry: former PCC chairman Sir Christopher Meyer is giving evidence alongside Lord Hunt and media veteran Lord Grade
12.13pm: Meyer is asked about coverage of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Express Newspapers paid out £550,000 damages after the high court found it had published 100 'seriously defamatory' articles about her parents.

He says he made it "perfectly plain" to Gerry McCann that it was either the legal route or the PCC.

In July 2007, Meyer told McCann and his press handler what the options were if they believed they need to "take action" against a newspaper.

12.15pm: Meyer says he met McCann again in February 2008, by which time the couple had made a firm decision to go to law, and had engaged law firm Carter-Ruck for a libel case.

Asked about what had taken place between July 2007 and January 2008, Meyer says:

"We did a lot. We were in pretty close contact with the press handlers [Clarence Mitchell] of the McCanns. We stood ready to intervene if they wanted it.

You can't be more royalist than the king. You cannot wish to stop something more ardently than the king. But by that time I think they had chosen to go to the law."

Meyer says he he understood that coverage of the McCanns was "not pleasant".

"It was pretty violent … and it was not pleasant to read. I have to say to you – this is so important - we made particular efforts to the McCanns to make ourselves available within 48 hours of Madeleine disappearing."

12.17pm: Meyer says he told Peter Hill, the former editor of the Daily Express, "you have to resign" after the Express Newspapers libel payout to the McCanns.

"I said 'in effect you need to resign'," says Meyer. "He said 'I suppose I have to but I need to consult friends and colleagues.'"

Meyer then said he should resign as soon as possible, adding: "That was the last time I ever talked to him."

12.21pm: Meyer says it is "very unfair" to say that he acted too slowly to condemn the Express's coverage of the McCanns.

The first Meyer heard of the Express Newspapers libel payout was on the radio on the morning it happened, he says.

12.26pm: Meyer says of Peter Hill: "It is inconceivable that he could stay on the commission." He adds that the commission decided Hill should be replaced as soon as possible.

"It took longer for him to be replaced than it should have done," Meyer adds.

Jay suggests the PCC adopted a position of "doing nothing" to protect the McCanns.

Meyer disputes this, saying that the PCC put itself at the McCanns' disposal.

12.28pm: Meyer says it was "screamingly obvious" what had gone wrong in relation to the McCann saga.

The McCanns needed the press for publicity's sake, he says, but it was a "Faustian" pact.

The Portuguese police were "leaking like sieves" and journalists were under pressure to produce fresh stories, Meyer says.

"It doesn't need a big review to see this. It happens from time to time," he adds. "It led to the McCanns being accused of something that is utterly abominable."

12.31pm: "The PCC made it its business from the very beginning to say, 'we are here to help'," Meyer tells the inquiry. He adds that help was taken up "but only in an ancillary way".

He says that if the McCanns did not want intervention, "You must respect complainants' wishes."

12.32pm: Meyer says in February 2008 he agreed with the McCanns that launching libel actions against newspapers, rather than going to the PCC, was the right course of action.

12.34pm: Jay suggests that if the PCC had taken a more proactive stance with the McCanns, it would not have gone so far in the 2010/11 Christopher Jefferies case. Eight newspapers paid damages to Jefferies for libellous allegations made against him following the murder of Joanna Yeates.

Meyer disagrees, saying "don't drag me down that path".

He adds that he was no longer PCC chairman at the time of the Jefferies case, saying he rejects Jay's attempt to draw parallels between the two cases.

Meyer says that the PCC has had success with media scrums and "stories relating to police sources".

12.40pm: Meyer suggests that the newspaper industry would quickly begin to ignore the PCC if its chairman exhorted papers to act responsibly every time a contentious story broke.

Jay suggests that the PCC should stop the press coming up with stories to fit the supposed facts.

Meyer replies:

"No. It is as if you say to the police 'you are useless because you can't stop crime'. Or to bishops 'you still have sin'. These are ridiculous arguments."

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Leveson

Post  mahlersghost on Tue 31 Jan - 14:46

Of no great matter I suppose but I was struck by Sir Christopher Meyer today making reference to Dr McCann (ie Gerald) and Mrs McCann (Kate) ie none of the two doctors thing that has been used throughout the enquiry. Perhaps he doesn't agree with ladies being medical practitioners.


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Re: More Leveson

Post  Panda on Tue 31 Jan - 14:48

As I said earlier, there are far too many Dailies and that is one of the reasons the British Press have such low morals , anything for a Story.!!

This sentence by Meyer was spot on."The McCanns needed the press for publicity's sake, he says, but it was a "Faustian" pact."

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Leveson

Post  mahlersghost on Tue 31 Jan - 14:55

No mention of Kate McCann becoming buddies (of sorts) with Lady Meyer during all of this - Sir Christopher may be a bit too close to the McCanns and to the Establishment (he is part of it) to be very objective about how the media reported the McCann case. He also made it sound as though there had been a court judgement in favour of the McCanns instead of the ubiquitous out of court settlements.

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Chris on Tue 31 Jan - 15:09

mahlersghost wrote:No mention of Kate McCann becoming buddies (of sorts) with Lady Meyer during all of this - Sir Christopher may be a bit too close to the McCanns and to the Establishment (he is part of it) to be very objective about how the media reported the McCann case. He also made it sound as though there had been a court judgement in favour of the McCanns instead of the ubiquitous out of court settlements.

It was a little surprising that neither Jay nor Leveson corrected the "judgement" for the accuracy of the record given they both must know it was settled out of court.

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Leveson nonsense

Post  mahlersghost on Tue 31 Jan - 15:14

Once again the " Portuguese police leaking sieve" finds its way into the records today. The exact source of the leaks is uninvestigated - and no-one will do it. The reason may be that it was not necessarily instigated by the PJ which would be a political and PR disaster for some. The question Kate McCann asked of Leveson about who leaked her diary was not meant to be investigated - more of a good soundbite for her to add in my opinion. There seems to be a tacit agreement that Portugal does not rock the boat - Dr Amaral has been cast adrift by the Portuguese state politic - like Lenny Harper in the UK. They suspect and know too much, as do many.


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Re: More Leveson

Post  Panda on Tue 31 Jan - 15:17

mahlersghost wrote:No mention of Kate McCann becoming buddies (of sorts) with Lady Meyer during all of this - Sir Christopher may be a bit too close to the McCanns and to the Establishment (he is part of it) to be very objective about how the media reported the McCann case. He also made it sound as though there had been a court judgement in favour of the McCanns instead of the ubiquitous out of court settlements.

Hi mahlersghost and welcome.

I read a long time ago that Desmond wanted a purchase or plan rubber stamped and Tony Blair agreed to do this if Desmond settled out of Court to
avoid embarassment to the Mccanns. This would be par for the course , another load of cottonwool to wrap around the McCanns, Gerry must have something on the Labour Party .

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Re: More Leveson

Post  jd16 on Fri 3 Feb - 14:11

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/society/leveson-inquiry-a-%27tawdry-kiss%11and%11tell%27,-say-tabloid-editors-201111234582/

Leveson Inquiry a 'tawdry kiss-and-tell', say tabloid editors
23-11-11
LORD Leveson is guilty of the worst kind of gutter judicial inquiry, it was claimed last night.

God may forgive them, but Coulson won't
Britain's most respected tabloid newspaper editors accused the inquiry of 'turning them over' and claimed it was a 'grotesque invasion of privacy for the sake of a cheap headline'.

Dominic Mohan, editor of The Sun, said: "People like Hugh Grant, Steve Coogan and the McCanns encounter a well-known newspaper and then go running off to the nearest inquiry with their salacious gossip.

"And that inquiry is only too happy to make all of this public without so much as a thought for the ruined lives that are left in its wake."

He added: "Tabloid journalists are real people with real feelings. What am I supposed to tell my children?

"And it's not as if a correction is going to do any good. It's like closing the stable door after the genie has bolted. The horse is out of the bottle."

Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail said: "They use the most disgusting, underhand tactics. They take people to a five-star courtroom, give them a fancy jug of water and then ask questions that they know are going to make tabloid newspapers look bad. I suspect that most of these 'witnesses' have no idea the whole thing is being recorded.

"Judicial inquiries into press ethics are like the Mafia. To them it's just 'business'."

Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, said: "I feel as if I've been mentally raped."

The inquiry stressed that tabloid newspapers were happy to court publicity when it served the interests of their bingo websites and insisted that an anti-inquiry law would prevent obvious conclusions being reached far too quickly.

But Paul Dacre added: "The most frustrating thing is we can't challenge it because we're all too scared of the consequences.

"That said, we are going to wait a few months and then make these fuckers wish they had never been born."

...well its 2 months now!!!! Go for it and help bring justice for Maddie and keep freedom of speech in the UK

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Guest on Fri 3 Feb - 14:19

Sadly that tongue-in-cheek piece is uncomfortably close to the bone!

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Re: More Leveson

Post  jd16 on Fri 3 Feb - 14:25

Yes but although they might have a lot to lose in libel re CR.... they have everything to gain. If they use their position and powers that they have in the right way to bring justice to maddie, expose the scam and help keep freedom of speech they will have the whole public of the UK behind them and this is more powerful than anything. The press's credit ratings will shoot up through the roof and it will make up for the hacking scandals. The press know what happened they are too scared to print it and fight them...be brave and the rewards will be huge! The country will be right behind them

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Guest on Fri 3 Feb - 14:28

Couldn't agree more - I've just Posted in similar vein on the "Cease & Desist" Thread.

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Re: More Leveson

Post  jd16 on Fri 3 Feb - 14:32

They have a golden opportunity here to redeem themselves....They won't get a better chance

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Re: More Leveson

Post  margaret on Fri 3 Feb - 14:45

jd16 wrote:They have a golden opportunity here to redeem themselves....They won't get a better chance

Trouble is there'd be no chance of a fair trial would there?

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Panda on Fri 3 Feb - 16:17

Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, said: "I feel as if I've been mentally raped."........isn"t this what Kate said.?????

The Press have no cause to complain, too many Papers trying to increase sales so it's a case of print what you like, the more salacious the better.

I have no sympathy at all for the British Press .

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Re: More Leveson

Post  jd16 on Fri 3 Feb - 16:28

Panda wrote:Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, said: "I feel as if I've been mentally raped."........isn"t this what Kate said.?????


This is what the Leveson Inquiry is all about...kates mental rape of an extract of her diary being published

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Re: More Leveson

Post  Panda on Fri 3 Feb - 16:40

jd16 wrote:
Panda wrote:Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, said: "I feel as if I've been mentally raped."........isn"t this what Kate said.?????


This is what the Leveson Inquiry is all about...kates mental rape of an extract of her diary being published

I read it that Tina Weaver was claiming it as well because the Press
have been under the cosh.

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Re: More Leveson

Post  jd16 on Fri 3 Feb - 16:42

Panda wrote:
jd16 wrote:
Panda wrote:Tina Weaver, editor of the Sunday Mirror, said: "I feel as if I've been mentally raped."........isn"t this what Kate said.?????


This is what the Leveson Inquiry is all about...kates mental rape of an extract of her diary being published

I read it that Tina Weaver was claiming it as well because the Press
have been under the cosh.

Im sure there is a cryptic clue from Tina Weaver using these particular words!!

So we have this, plus The mail using the word murder......are finally the press going to do something good???

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Re: More Leveson

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