Thursday 28 July 2011

Lord Justice Leveson to press: 'Don't close ranks'

Lord Justice Leveson outlining his inquiry into media ethics urged the press today not to "close ranks" and suggest that the problems highlighted by the phone hacking affair were only down to a group of News of the World journalists.

In a prepared statement he said: "It may be tempting for a number of people to close ranks and suggest that the problem is or was local to a group of journalists then operating at the News of the World but I would encourage all to take a wider picture of the public good and help grapple with the width and depth of the problem."

He said the "focus of the inquiry is the culture practices and ethics of the press in the context of the latter's relationship with the public, the police and politicians."

Lord Justice Leveson added that in September he would be holding "a series of seminars on the ethics of journalism and the practices and pressures of investigative journalism".

He added he would later hold seminars on press relationships with the police, politicians and the political process.

Lord Justice Leveson said he would "strive" to complete his inquiry after 12 months but said this would not happen "at all cost". The scope of the inquiry has been extended to include broadcasting and social media as well as the press.

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