Leveson could change the newspaper industry. But if we're all publishers now should we all face the penalties publishers face? Libel? Defamation? Losing your house for an untrained slip? In a personal take this comms officer thinks so.
by Mark Allen
The on-line community feels it is the new voice of the people and for many reason it is right. The so-called citizen journalists are taking over.
But is it a case of the lunatics taking over the asylum?
It thought it was untouchable. Leveson would attack the traditional media, but left Twitter along – even though a lot worse things were said and more privacy invaded there.
The hierarchy just saw Facebook as harmless fun, with people putting pictures of their babies, oh how my timeline is littered with these, and btw Facebook time is not a line.
But as online bloggers, aimed with flimsy evidence of people clicking on their sites but probably not paying much attention and Twitter stars with thousands of followers calilng the order – began to get cocky.
At last, Lord McAlpine did what people should have done months ago and took them to task. And I for one raised a glass to the old Tory. Never thought I would say that.
If they want to gossip like tabloids, print rumour you hear at the hairdressers and find people guilty who haven’t stood trial yet. They should be treated like real journalists and be ruled by their standards.
Real journalists can be found in contempt of court, risk prison and humiliation – for one careless slip of the pen/typewriter/keyboard/mouse.
This is whether they print on the page, speak from our TVs or out computers/smartphones.
Wannabe commentators choose to spout off about the latest court case showing their lack of journalist training and law knowledge.
Ironically a lot of these people join Facebook groups on anti-bullying say The Daily Mail plays to prejudices and my favourite lame excuse ‘freedom of speech is king.’
We can never have freedom of speech, not if it harms the reputation of the innocent or the not-yet-found-guilty.
With freedom come responsibility. I would argue the great unwashed having free use of Twitter and Facebook has caused an array of problems that at last are being recognised.
I hope we get some ‘normal’ run of the mill people prosecuted, fined and even imprisoned to balance the Leveson witch hunt and make people realise the web isn’t a free for all.
Perhaps the honeymoon is over and it’s time for a realignment of power?
Mark Allen is a press officer for Halton Borough Council.