The IPSO roadshow rolled into Glasgow earlier this week for an evening of debate and discussion with an expert media panel.
It’s the third roadshow, following on from events in Birmingham and Manchester earlier this year, with the aim of bringing together local editors and media experts with anyone out there who has an interest in the press and in press regulation.
The panel consisted of two of the biggest names in Scottish newspapers in Graeme Smith, Editor of the Herald and Murray Foote, Editor of the Daily Record, who were joined by Ben McConville GCU’s Head of Glasgow Caladonian University’s Department of Social Sciences, Media and Journalism and IPSO’s Chairman Sir Alan Moses. They were brilliantly chaired by Rona Dougall from STV’s Scotland Tonight.
The quality of debate and questions was first rate and the introductions from each of our guests were extraordinarily good – so much so that I twisted their arms to let us have them in full so we could publish them (see below).
As you’ll see from the content of the three contributions even those who we regulate sometimes get a little peeved with us. Having said that, the nature of a voluntary system underpinned by legally binding contract is that editor’s accept IPSO’s judgement even if, as Murray said “There have been IPSO rulings against us where we have found the findings against us ranging from unduly harsh to downright unfair.”
Graeme meanwhile pointed out that even in cases where he has had advice that, whilst legally sound, a story could potentially be in breach of the Editors' Code, he has made the editorial decision not to publish, or to amend the story to remove any elements which may have led to a breach of the Code.
Ben’s introduction focussed on the importance of journalism courses - not just training and educating their students but equipping them with ethical theories and philosophical approaches going back to the ancient Greeks. He also made the extremely valid point that if everyone was happy with the press and with its regulator “… probably neither of them would be fulfilling their functions properly”.
The audience was a great mixture of newspaper readers, students, PR practitioners and academics and the questions fired at the three guest speakers and Sir Alan covered a wide range of topics, including the future of local newspapers, whether newspapers are run by an elite and how more women can become editors.
The issue of whether the internet could ever be regulated caused particular discussion with Sir Alan pointing out that the internet can, of course, be controlled, as it is in Tehran and Beijing, but that the only way to change the attitude of the internet giants in a free society is by public pressure.
Overall a really stimulating evening that raised the bar that our next roadshow – in Belfast on 24 October – will have to go some to match!
There are still places left, so you can register below!