Is this the beginning of end for UK printing & publishing freedom?

Threat to Freedom of Press?  Cross-party agreement in UK

Threat to Freedom of Press? Cross-party agreement in UK

The 3 main political parties in UK – Labour, Liberl & Conservative – have agreed to a new system of regulation for the news paper industry in a unique cross-party deal, in the early hours of  2.30am on Monday 18th March’13   (Their meetings have been held leading up to it, which makes it all under the astrological influence of the only-just-going direct motion Mercury.. which happened t 8pm on Sunday night).

News of this proposal has been spreading out on Television, Internet and radio channels – and will appear in actual News paper print ..by Tuesday 19th Match’13.   (today, at the time of writing this blog).

UK Prime Minister David Cameron urges Papers to agree to new system of Regulation.  Yahoo news states that,

`Setting out plans for a royal charter to back a new, tougher press regulator with the power to impose big fines and prominent apologies on errant newspapers, Mr Cameron told MPs that the proposals delivered on the recommendations of last year’s Leveson Report on press standards.’

Joint statements by the Mail, Telegraph, News International and Northern and Shell, were concerned about  “several deeply contentious issues which have not yet been resolved with the industry and making clear they would not make an immediate response.

In Dailymail online (www.dailymail.co.uk)  reported the following points have been highlighted:

  • Press watchdog will issue £1m fines and demand front page apologies.
  • Body will be created by Royal Charter instead of being set up by legislation.
  • All three party leaders tried to claim victory after 20 months of wrangling.
  • Hacked Off, which represents celebrities and other victims, had four present.
  • No-one from newspaper industry was informed the talks were taking place.

Dailymail site also informed that, `London Mayor Boris Johnson, a former journalist, telephoned Mr Cameron yesterday and expressed ‘serious concern’ about a proposal to hit publishers who refuse to sign up to the new watchdog with ‘exemplary’ damages in libel cases’.

Is this the beginning of end for news paper freedom of publication in UK?   Yes, there has been a lot of phone tapping and other `scandals’ involving the news papers of late – and all these inquiries have been ways of diving and probing in deep by the government. Everyone has been at the mercy of the news industry – including the Royal Family, Ministers and Bankers – pretty much the 3 elite groups of people who otherwise will be `untouchable’ by the general public – save for the Journalists who keep them on their toes!  News Industry is a double-edged sword of course (mightier than a Sword!) …it can give biased views and change mass opinion, or be on the side of people, and challenge others who assume total power and control over people..

And now, the News paper industry has been `touched’ finally..  and ways of controlling it have begun, in the most `apparently open way’ possible of course.

I personally have been rebellious and challenging of anything in positions of power – not just for the sake of it – but if there is something that just doesn’t smell right to my inner rights and wrongs, even if others can’t immediately see it. I’ve challenged people in power (under various circumstances) – be in at work in the Home Office (I was an elected Union Rep), work in the Charity sector,  Officers in Pagan Community organisations .. and so on.   Just to be fair, I must say that I have also been part of a petition against Daily Mail paper, when they were seemingly reporting against Pagan practices.

So this news …of proposals to monitor, manage and control the News Paper industry (and eventually to other news media) is very worrying indeed.  Those who challenge authority are often walking a tight rope, and though they seem to be on a height above others, they also can take great falls – as there are others who can the tools to cut those ropes.

So my sympathies to the News Paper industry – After all, I am also in the publishing industry. My biggest worry is…waiting for the attention to fall even more heavily on the Freedom of publishing on the Internet..! 😦

-Mani Navasothy

Links

Gaian Times e-Magazine for Eco-spiritual & society matters

Esoteric Expert – my professional site / platform for publishing eBooks and ventures

Daily Mail report of this story

yahoo report of this story

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