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For a free press, despite the media ‘barons’

On the 17th March journalists, politicians, academics and other professionals from the so-called ‘third estate’ will seek reforms in favour of a free and fair press.


Media owners, and the way they regulate media, are once again at the centre of debate. Recent revelations about Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World’s conduct have launched the press into a period of crisis.

The Australian tycoon’s newspaper was accused of phone-tapping various politicians and famous people, and it is even said that their journalists went as far as tapping into the telephone voicemail of a 13 year old girl, who at the time had disappeared and was later found murdered.

British judge Lord Leveson’s inquiry, which will examine media culture, practice and ethics, is uncovering the truth behind the headlines and throws up a great opportunity for real reforms.

However, what kind of reforms? Is it possible to have a fair and free press at the same time? The media has been attacking the trade unions for years and the unions have called for a change.

Therefore, under the title “Taking on the media barons – How can we make the media fair for all”, politicians, trade union leaders, journalists, activists, commentators and academics will take part in a national debate on the 17th March where they will discuss how the media can be reformed.

The confirmed speakers in attendance will be: Frances O´Grady, Michelle Stanistreet, Tony Burke, Granville Williams, Tom O’Malley, James Curran, Natalie Fenton, Jim Boumelha, Luke Crawley, John Hendy and Harriet Harman.

Politicians from all three main parties have also been invited to attend.

The debate will take place on Saturday 17th March, from 10am until 4pm, at the TUC Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. Anyone interested in attending must register themselves on the following webpage:

www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-20516-f0.cfm.

(Translated by José Stovell)

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