Alastair Campbell: I hate what Dacre and Murdoch have done to journalism

Why journalism, and why it matters in a world of flux? is the first of two lectures by Tony Blair’s former director of communications as Cambridge University Humanitas visiting professor of mediaOne of the most powerful critiques of modern journalism came from the Guardian’s Nick Davies. In his book Flat Earth News, he detailed specific acts of press distortion, manipulation and lying. But more, he made a convincing analysis that the corporatisation of the media is what has led to its decline in trust and accuracy. He calls it a cancer and argues it is beyond cure. I hope he is wrong, but three things are clear:First, those who have created the cancer cannot cure it. The Murdoch-Dacre generation of owners and executives, let alone the so-called regulators at the PCC, have failed, cannot change their ways, have had their day.Second, hope of recovery has to rest with the next generation; the next generation of journalists, to bring a more honest and serious approach; and the next generation of technology, new forms of media which can break down old and corrupt power structures.Third, we need a new system of independent self regulation as proposed by Leveson which, contrary to the lies told about it in their papers, should give journalists little to fear, and much to like, if their interest truly is good journalism having its place at the heart of democracy.

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