During last week’s hearings from the Leveson Inquiry (see our report on the first day of the Leveson hearing here), News International’s legal representation Rhodri Davies admitted that there was not a “rogue reporter” at the now-closed newspaper News of the World. The company had maintained that phone hacking and other ethical violations were the result of a “rogue reporter.” Davies also apologized on behalf of News International to all who had their phone hacked, the BBC reported.
The Leveson Inquiry’s website is posting live footage and transcripts from the hearings here.
Also during last week’s hearings, The National Union of Journalists’ general secretary Michelle Stanistreet called the UK Press Complaints Commission “little more than a self-serving gentleman’s club, and not a very good one at that,” Journalism.co.uk reported.
Stanistreet’s comments were made during the Leveson Inquiry into press standards. Stanistreet also criticized the PCC’s inability to require membership and suggested that the PCC model itself after the Irish Press Council, Journalism.co.uk reported.
The Guardian’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, also spoke to the Leveson Inquiry Nov. 16 and called the News International phone hacking allegations “shocking” and “a failure ofthe normal checks and balances in society to hold power to account,” the Guardian reported.
Concerning media regulation, Rusbridger proposed a Press Standards and Mediation Commission to be a “resolution service” for the public’s complaints over the press.
Also at the Nov. 16 hearing, Max Mosley, who has won two lawsuits against News of the World for its reports on him, indicated that he thinks News of the World’s invasive coverage of him and his family “was a contributing factor in his son’s death” by overdose, the Guardian reported. As StinkyJournalism has written, News of the World published a story and video footage of Mosley in 2008 during what it called a “sick Nazi orgy.” Both UK and French courts ruled that Mosley’s privacy was invaded.
David Sherborne, who “represents 51 core participant ‘victims’ of press intrusion,” added at the hearing that singer Charlotte Church claims her mother attempted suicide because of the press’s “lurid revelations about the father,” and soccer player Garry Flitcroft claims that the media’s invasive coverage of his family “was a factor in his father’s death.”