Doubts Raised over the Practicalities of Policing Press-Politicians Relations

Doubt as to what the Leveson Inquiry into press standards might be able to realisitcally recommend, regarding how politicians and the Press might engage with each other in the future, is at the heart of a column in The Scotsman today. 

Writes former journalist, Ewan Crawford: “It is unclear to me what additional measures can reasonably be put in place to govern this key relationship. Political leaders have already agreed to publish details of their meetings with senior newspaper executives and owners which is an important and overdue step. People can now judge the extent of the contacts and questions can be asked accordingly.

“There is, however, nothing inherently wrong about political parties seeking to persuade newspaper editors of their case. The mass media is still the means by which voters learn about political parties and of course parties are going to seek to influence how they are reported and commented on.”

Crawford is a lecturer in broadcast journalism at the University of the West of Scotland. He is also a former private secretary to the then SNP leader, John Swinney.

And he writes of his own frustations at communicating with journalists, when he was involved with the SNP: “Part of this was the frustration I felt about what I perceived to be the unfairness of the coverage we were receiving and also at what I believed to be the failings of political journalism.” 

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