On press regulation, Ian Hislop needs to get a grip

Look I love Ian Hislop as much as the next man but I’m finding his petulant stance on press regulation tiresome.

Firstly there was his an unconvincing interview on Channel 4 news last week. Not only did he avoid engaging with the points made by a victim of press intrusion, he also neglected to produce any criticisms of the current proposals. Instead he opted to make a slippery slope argument – an inherently suspect form of reasoning – that the experience of other countries shows that regulation inevitably leads to political control of the press.

Now we have the latest of Private Eye’s famous front covers setting out the same fear.

o-PRIVATE-EYE-570

This is rot. We don’t even need to look to other countries to find an example of media regulation that does not turn its subjects into sycophantic kittens. If Hislop wants to find a regulated media that retains its independence from political control, he just needs to turn on the TV or radio. The BBC is incorporated by Royal Charter as the government’s proposed new regulator would be and commercial stations are regulated by Ofcom, the body that Leveson proposed giving responsibility for approving any new regulator. Yet that does not mean they act in the way Hislop imagines regulated papers will.

Let’s see some examples.

Here’s an ITV program being nasty about the government:

Here’s a BBC journalist doing in the leader of the opposition:

Here’s Mark Kermode on BBC Radio 5 live panning both Hugh Grant’s most recent film and the man himself

And as for MPs being good value for money, here’s Hislop himself arguing the exact opposite on Have I Got News For You that is of course shown on the BBC:

The problem with Britain’s media is not placid broadcasters, it’s rabid and irresponsible papers. The press’ credibility is not helped by Hislop pretending that independent regulation will turn Private Eye into OK!

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “On press regulation, Ian Hislop needs to get a grip

  1. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out
    your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the knowledge you present here and can’t wait to take a
    look when I get home. I’m surprised at how quick your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, fantastic blog!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s