The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights is likely to rule tomorrow against the British ban on political advertising on television. Jacob Rowbottom, fellow at University College, Oxford, expects the Chamber to decide that the ban contravenes the right of freedom of expression in article 10 of the Convention on Human Rights.
This might [...]
The least troubling aspect of the John Terry case for me is the revelation that footballers shout offensive and unpleasant obscenities at rivals in the heat of a football game. Even those of us who cannot lip read surely did not think they were saying ‘please pass me the ball’
I admit it: I’m a liberal stereotype. I have no sense of humour. Or at least, there’s obviously something wrong with it.
As the often theatrical spectacle of the Leveson hearings – with its mix of posturing, jousting, inquisition and exposé – draws to a close, the big question is what Leveson will recommend this autumn. Will we see proposals that defend press freedom and promote high professional standards, or do we risk facing proposals that limit press freedom and serious investigative journalism?
It is a watershed moment for press freedom and for freedom of speech in the UK. By the end of 2012, we could have pressed the reset button both to ensure British journalism represents the best in investigative and high quality reporting, and to strengthen freedom of speech and comment across the board. Or, if the wrong choices are made, 2012 could be the moment when British press freedom is curtailed and when wider freedom of speech and provocative scientific debate,online and off, is dampened and constrained.
Websites have been encouraging cowardice. They allow users to hide behind virtual anonymity to make hasty, ill-researched and often intemperate comments regardless of any consideration for personal hurt or corporate damage.
They may be fun to read, but all of us need to reconsider how they appeal to our baser instincts – and whether they actually threaten [...]
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