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The dog and lamp-post: why Leveson won't change the relationship

TEMPLE, Mick (2013) The dog and lamp-post: why Leveson won't change the relationship. In: After Leveson? The future for British journalism. Arima Publishing, Bury St Edmunds, pp. 143-150. ISBN 978-1-84549-576-3

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Abstract or description

Mencken’s famous analogy is amusing but unhelpful. Whether or not journalists are the dog and politicians are the lamp-post, the nature of their relationship has contributed not only to a public sphere in which reliable information about politics is all too rare but also to the increasingly negative image the public have of both professions. Leveson may have produced a decidedly “mediocre” report (The Economist, 8 December, 2012) filled with vague and essentially unworkable recommendations, but his central message is clear and indisputable. The relationship between British politicians and journalists needs to change. Senior politicians have for too long responded like Pavlov’s dogs to the temporary obsessions of newspapers like the Sun and Daily Mail, and are so afraid of powerful press barons like Rupert Murdoch that they openly court their approval and support in return for policy pay-offs. On the other hand, many political journalists have become too reliant upon and too close personally to senior politicians and their spinners. The result? The evidence presented to Leveson shows a relationship corrupted by mutual suspicion and cynicism in which the public have been the chief losers.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Arts and Creative Technologies > Journalism, Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Michael TEMPLE
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2013 14:00
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:39

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