The Future of Journalism looks set to focus on the UK in coming days and weeks. Boris Johnson, London’s Mayor and prolific scribbler, has penned a particularly personal attack on The Guardian in the Daily Telegraph “Newspapers are worth fighting for – even when they are wrong” but strongly defends its right to publish and ends with a typical flourish: “Save the Guardian from extinction!”.
The Financial Times also carries a more balanced piece this week “Leveson, the British media and the law” calling for improved regulation but stopping short of advocating state regulation.
Both pieces appear to be in anticipation of the imminent publication by Lord Leveson of his substantial investigation into the excesses in recent years by UK press, police and politicians into citizens’ privacy.
It will be important to maintain a perspective as there could easily be more heat than light generated as the media and the regulators debate the future of UK print and online journalism. However, there are also going to be important lessons and guidelines that other European countries and the EU itself should follow in revising their own regulations for the digital age.
Julian Oliver, Brussels.