Kelvin MacKenzie, the Daily Mail and press freedom

How Kelvin MacKenzie and the Daily Mail undermine the case for press freedom.

Kelvin MacKenzie and the Daily Mail. A man and a newspaper who’ve been ever more vocal in their campaign for greater press freedom and the right to free expression as the super injunctions row has escalated, with Kelvin especially pious in insisting the truth is out there and the truth must out, ranting and raving on the Sky News late night paper review whenever he gets the chance.

The Mail have also led the charge – and by and large, who can disagree with them? As Mike Harris argued on these pages:

Whilst many people would argue that Max Mosley’s private peccadillos are his own personal business, and his alone, few would wish to see those breaking super-injunctions via Twitter found in contempt of Court and jailed.

As the European Court found, effective sanctions that uphold privacy may be in breach of the fundamental right to freedom of expression.

Yet for all that, nothing does more to undermine the case for press freedom than newspapers deliberately lying, a charge both the Mail and MacKenzie were accused of on This Week last night:

As Lord Steel says:

“If we had a law that said ‘if you say something untrue in a paper you must publish the retraction on the same page with the same prominence’ that would make the editors think twice.”

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