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Media relations in a post-Leveson world

A recent Gorkana event saw key speakers discuss the challenges faced by media professionals in the wake of Lord Leveson’s report, released last November. The event brought together Independent editor Chris Blackhurst and Financial Times Live News editor Ben Fenton, together with Ian Kirby, director of media at MHP Communications, BLP partner Graham Shear, and CIPR’s CEO Jane Wilson, chaired by Professor Richard Sambrook, director of the Centre for Journalism at Cardiff University.The debate covered issues including what increased regulation will look like, what it will mean for the communications industry, how outlets and agencies should go about reinstating trust, and the challenges faced in deciding what can and cannot be said. Is the UK press worse off without the News of the World? How might a new system go about achieving clarity as to what is of private and public interest? And how can PRs meet the challenges of managing content across online platforms? The debate incorporated audience polls at the beginning and end of discussion, the results of which are below.So what happens next? Speakers assured delegates that while it may appear as though progress is slow following the report’s release, behind the scenes significant discussions continue to happen. The challenge then, remains – for legislation, to create an impartial system to underpin this most rambunctious of national presses, and for the media, to balance the plurality and independence of reporting, with accountability for practise.

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