What do you think needs to be in Press Gazette's Journalism Manifesto?


We’ve had some great responses to the Journalism Manifesto so far – some of which will make it into a second draft of the document which we are going to send to both Lords Leveson and Hunt.

Press Gazette is going to keep this “consultation” open until the end of next week- 17 February – after which time we will send off a final version, with responses from Press Gazette readers.

Paul Durrant, former Eastern Daily Press assistant editor, has suggested the “truth” is a bit much to hope for in the Journalists’ Pledge.

I think he’s right – so perhaps the proposed pledge would read better : “I pledge to work to the best of my ability to ensure that my journalism is truthful honest, accurate and produced without favour to any special interests.”

Via Twitter, Wall Street Journal Europe deputy editor Neil Mcintosh has reminded me about the issue of freebies – which the manifesto should really address. The new Journalists’ Code should make it obligatory for journalists to declare in stories when they have received a free flight, meal, holiday or whatever. At some titles (such as the WSJE) freebies are banned, but I suspect for most travel journalists in particular they remain essential.

Deputy editor of the Bath Chronicle Paul Wiltshire has pointed out that copy-approval can sometimes be essential in sensitive stories such as those involving a bereaved family where otherwise it would be impossible to get a story into print. It’s a point which is difficult to argue against, and which is a million miles away from the pampered celebs who get paid handsomely for letting the cameras into a family event AND then get sign-off on the result.

‘Journolad’ says that the millions spent on Leveson would be better used commissioning a proper survey to find out what the public wants out of press regulation.

I have to agree that it is a great shame that the PCC has not gone to the trouble of carrying out a proper public consultation on its proposed reforms (albeit that Lord Hunt insists he has consulted widely with every possible interest group).

But this is at least is an opportunity for Press Gazette to canvas opinion from ordinary journalists about how the industry needs to change in the wake of the hacking scandal.

Please keep your comments, tweets and emails coming.


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