After two Labour prime ministers who pledged their support to media freedom – what is the state of media freedom today?
Peter Cole has written a report for the Society of Editors which seeks to answer this question. In it he welcomes government action on reporting restrictions in the courts and the introduction of the Freedom of Information Act.
But he says reforms on media access to family courts have made little difference, he notes that the law still allows for the jailing of journalists who breach the Data Protection Act (although he notes that this section has not been brought into force), he complains that reform of the libel law has been left too late and he voices concern over the impact of the Human Rights Act on freedom of expression.
I’ve been a little more generous to Gordon Brown in my asessment of his two years as Prime Minister.