Thoughts on Leveson:what is not in the press? « Politics, Statesmanship, Philosophy

by peterjukes

The pressure can come from a variety of sources as the film the Insider portrayed.  In that movie, based on real events (if dramatised for the screen) CBS 60 minutes was told by CBS corporate not to run the story revealing Big Tobacco‘s use of enhancing the addictive properties within the cigarettes.  CBS corporate was concerned that a Big Tobacco lawsuit would undermine the pending sale of CBS to Westinghouse Electric corporation. For a fuller discussion of these points see the following link

In terms of politics, it gets to a core political issue of whether, and how, politicians and editors trade in information about political decisions. For the most part, the trade or activity is benign and part of the political process. The media are a stakeholder and an important conduit to the public.  In that regard, it serves a useful purpose for both parties. The trade in political information is needed for a democracy to flourish.

What remains to be seen, and is still unasked, is what happens (and how does it work) when the press start to pressure the politicians to make and change political decision that relate to the press but not the public’s interest. In this sense, the political process of information sharing and distribution becomes subverted for personal or organisational purposes.  For example,

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