The Press Club/LSE debate on Truth, Trust and the Media could not have been more timely with the furore over President Trump … nor the forthcoming Cudlipp Lecture with the BBC’s Jim Naughtie, fresh from covering the US Elections.
The Press Club’s next debate “Is Freedom of the Press under threat” is also perfectly timed. Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, will be joining the panel of experts which includes Sir Alan Moses, chairman of IPSO, with Roy Greenslade as chair. It is on Monday 13 February.
In addition, we have another social drinks evening planned on 27 Februarywith guest speaker Major General John Holly talking about the year of risks.
With President Trump in mind…
‘Truth, trust and the news media’ debate organised by the London Press Club in partnership with the London School of Economics and media think tank Polis last week provoked a heated discussion – which continued onto Twitter – about the use and meaning of the word ‘lie’ in connection with Donald Trump.
One of the panellists, The Independent’s chief political commentator, John Rentoul, said the New York Times’ use of the word ‘lie’ in news reports about Trump was an “abdication of responsibility to journalism”.
The New York Times opined that the US President was ‘a proven liar’ who ‘lies often and effortlessly’. Speaking at the debate, Rentoul said: “One person’s alternative fact is another person’s lie. The question is how do we deal with this and I’m very much on the side of disagreeing with the New York Times’ use of the word ‘lie’ in the headline. I thought that was a complete abdication of responsibility to journalism because once you accuse someone of lies you have lost the argument, because in order to do that you have to question motives.
“You must be saying that they know that they are telling something untrue and the problem with someone like Donald Trump is that anyone who claims to be able to read his mind isn’t making a claim that is based in fact.”
Also on the panel, Anne McElvoy of The Economist, was asked if the American media needed to be more aggressive in their approach to Trump.
McElvoy said: “I don’t know how much just treating it with aggression is going to do any good. Who are you enlightening that you haven’t already enlightened? Who are you reaching that you haven’t reached before?”
Speaking via video link, CNN broadcaster, Brian Stelter, warned that there is a broad effort to ‘delegitimise’ the media in the US by calling the media ‘dishonest’, adding: “That is a danger to journalism that has not been seen in a long time.”
CNN’s senior media correspondent has said the rise of fake news has been a ‘wake-up call’ to how ‘complicated’ and ‘confusing’ the media is for news consumers in the internet age.
Also on the panel were: James Ball, BuzzFeed’s special correspondent (formerly of Wikileaks and The Guardian), Alex Sundstrom of Republicans Overseas, and it was chaired by Charlie Beckett, director of Polis.
Read full coverage of the debate in Press Gazette.
On Monday 13th February Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship, will join IPSO chairman and former Lord Justice of Appeal and Court of Appeal Judge, Sir Alan Moses, to discuss whether Press Freedom is under threat.
With the spectre of the implementation of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act and the Royal Charter, there is widespread concern that this could lead to curtailment of the freedom of the Press and the potential closure of some newspapers.
Under draft legislation – which recently went out to public consultation – media organisations would be forced to pay both sides’ costs in privacy and libel cases even if they successfully defend an action.
Also discussing ‘Are Journalism and Press Freedom under threat?’ are Pia Sarma (above), Times Newspapers’ Editorial Legal Director and Will Gore, deputy managing editor of the Evening Standard and The Independent who was formerly director of external and public affairs at the Press Complaints Commission. The chair is Roy Greenslade, media columnist and pundit and former editor of the Daily Mirror.
Venue: Stationers’ Hall, Ave Maria Lane, London EC4M 7DD
Starts 6.30pm for 7pm.
Tickets for this popular event are still available to buy for £10 here
On February 27 at Corinthia Hotel, members and those interested in joining the London Press Club are welcome to a fascinating talk by Major General John Holly. With his extensive military and corporate leadership experience, John will give a lecture exploring the overarching themes and geopolitical risks facing us in 2017.
John has had to identify risks and implement robust contingency plans to ensure that the organisations for which he worked could operate smoothly through difficult times. The scope of his experience has given him a keen insight into the nuances of geopolitics and positions him well to highlight the areas to watch this year. There will be the opportunity to ask John questions.
Monday, February 27, Corinthia Hotel, London, SW1A 2BD. 6.30pm. Please register to attend here
On Wednesday March 29th the 2017 Hugh Cudlipp Lecture will be given by James ‘Jim’ Naughtie, the BBC’s veteran radio and TV news presenter, hot foot from covering the US elections
Entitled ‘A World Turned Upside Down’, Naughtie’s lecture, hosted by the London Press Club, will take place at The Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN, 6.30pm. Due to the popularity of this event please email firstname.lastname@example.org to go on a waiting list for tickets.
Thursday 27 April, London Press Club Awards Lunch, Corinthia Hotel, London