Friday, April 19, 2013

Blogs freedom saved & why Rolf Harris not named?

Don't think many visitors to this blog are much interested in post-Leveson 'free speech' discussion. But I am. Its seemed to me that there was no clarity about whether blogs should be subject to full impact of the new press regulation regime - which we can agree would be utterly ridiculous. So I asked a Parliamentary Written Question to find out. Took a few days, but when I received my Written Answer from Minister Ed Vaisey, it left us with more questions than answers. Its pointed reference to 'single bloggers' and 'sole bloggers' suggested that by allowing any 'guest' blogger this blog would indeed become subject to new press regulator.

So I asked a follow up Written Question last week seeking clarity on this point. What would be the position if I invited a 'guest' blogger to contribute. I guessed this question would cause a bit of trouble. I hope so - because it had just not been thought through. Anyway today, we learn that the Gov't is putting an amendment to the Bill before MPs on Monday that exempt blogs with less than a £2 million turnover and less than 10 employees from the regulations. This is a very big change. It means that a blog with a £1,999,999 turnover and employing 9 full-time employees will be exempt. So no problem for me. It probably does not even include Guido, which will really 'hack off' Hacked Off.

And there is another related point which someone will perhaps be able to help me on. The questioning of Rolf Harris in connection with Operation Yewtree. As soon as the police interviewed Max Clifford, Freddie Starr, Dave Lee Travis, Jim Davidson etc., the names were all over the mainstream media. When Rolf Harris was similarly interviewed, he was coyly referred to as an 82 year old man from Berkshire (Yewtree 5). Am interested in why the difference. No odds to most visitors to this blog because I expect they also visit the Guido blog, where Rolf Harris has been openly named for months. Does it have any connection with new press regulation. It this a sign of a "chilling" impact on press freedom we can expect in future?

1 comment:

Cai Larsen said...

Oherwydd i'w gyfreithwyr geisio atal cyhoeddi ei enw trwy gyfeirio at gymal amwys yn Levison.