World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) demands Guardian changes stance on phone tapping journalists

Central Chongqing, China, April 2013, where former party boss Bo Xilai is currently  on trial

Central Chongqing, China, April 2013, where former party boss Bo Xilai is currently on trial

World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) demands Guardian changes stance on phone tapping journalists 

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has written to prime minister Cameron over the government’s “deeply regrettable” response to files leaked by the National Security Agency’s Edward Snowden.  The letter for which the Guardian has stated its full support, includes the following concern:

Added to these latest incidents, WAN-IFRA is disturbed by the perceived slide in press freedom witnessed in the UK over recent months. Serious questions remain regarding the future direction of independent press regulation.

Does this include the Guardian’s delegation of editorial control to it’s moderators as outlined here and elsewhere on this site?

The letter continues:

Reports also suggest that since Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into press behaviour as many as 59 journalists have been arrested under three separate police investigations. None have been convicted and many have spent months on police bail.

But the Guardian has been in the forefront of calling for the arrest and prosecution of those journalists and others who were responsible for the tapping of Milly Dowler’s mobile phone and related crimes. Some of those arrested such as Rebecca Brooks and Andy Coulsdon are currently awaiting trial. Will it now be calling equally strongly for their release under the banner of press freedom?

Far more members of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers have come out against Levenson than have said they support it, but the Guardian isn’t one of them.  And what was it the Guardian said about Levenson’s demand for legislation to regulate the press? That it agrees with tearing up a centuries-old principle of press independence out of sympathy for the likes of Steven Coogan, Hugh Grant and Charlotte Church.

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