Lords to quiz political journalists on govt relations with media

National and regional political journalists have been called to give evidence to the House of Lords Communications Committee as part of an inquiry into the relationship between the Government, the media and the public.

Daily Mail political editor Benedict Brogan, The Sun’s chief political commentator and former political editor Trevor Kavanagh and Manchester Evening News chief reporter David Ottewell will share their views on the media and politics before the committee next Wednesday, the fourth evidence session in the inquiry so far.

Also speaking will be Independent columnist Steve Richards, Guardian columnist Jackie Ashley, editor of the BBC’s regional political programmes bob Ledwidge and Chris Fisher, political editor of the Eastern Daily Press. The journalists will be asked for their views on how the Lobby system of reporting Parliament is working.

The Lords’ inquiry began in July this year to investigate the relationship between government, politicians, the media and the public.

The committee interviewed some of the most powerful figures in the UK media for its inquiry into ownership including Rebekah Wade, editor of The Sun, Alan Rusbridger, editor The Guardian and Will Lewis, editor-in-chief of Telegraph Media Group. The committee even flew to New York to interview News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch.

Owen Williams, head of press for The House of Lords, said: ‘They want to see whether things have improved and what more the Government can do to make sure it’s as open as it needs to be with the media and the public.”

The inquiry was launched to find out what changes have ocurred since 1994 when the Phillis report indentified a breakdown in trust between politicians, the media and the public which lead to a decline in election turnout.

The committee is expected to publish its report recommending what improvements could be made early next year.

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