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Leveson requests names of journalists involved in media frenzy

LEVESON And thats all right is it?

SHERBORNE Sir, it is. Yes.

LEVESON Good. I have a request of you, and it’s not of the highest urgency but it is moderately significant. I don’t think it will cause you too much work. But you have pointed to a number of particularly critical articles… particularly important, I’m using the word critical, articles in relation to a number of your clients and have made the point forcefully that there could be no public interest in this particular story and the consequences of harm were very real. And you said, I think more than once, that similar bylines were visible on the stories, in other words written by the same people covering different stories.

SHERBORNE Yes, in relation to the Jefferies case and the McCann case.

LEVESON Yes. If you could pick out a number of specific examples, and it may be that your clients will have them very much in mind, and maybe they’re collected somewhere, if it’s difficult, say so, it may be that I will think about asking the specific journalists to deal with the very points you’ve raised. I’m not saying I will, but I think it’s a potentially fruitful line of inquiry.

SHERBORNE Sir, I’m very grateful for that. In terms of that specific point, namely the overlap between journalists who covered the McCann case and the Jefferies case, that is work which will take very little time to do, I can reassure you. I can certainly provide that within the next day or so to the Inquiry.

LEVESON Yes. I’m not asking you to give me 100 names, because the timeframe within which I’m operating will bite throughout, but you’ve presented one side of a picture very graphically, and I would just like to make sure that I understand whether there is another side and, if so, what it is, in the context of ethical decision-making at journalist level and at other levels. I can always pick these up with editors, most of whom I think are already likely to be giving evidence, but I just wonder whether in relation to some of them it may not be sensible to go a bit further. I’m not saying I will, but I’m saying that I think it’s worth thinking about.

SHERBORNE Sir, yes. We say of course the articles speak for themselves, but I can understand why the Inquiry might want to hear from the individual journalists as opposed to the editors as to why those stories were written.

LEVESON Yes.

SHERBORNE As I say, I will provide those names…

LEVESON And the considerations that went into them.

SHERBORNE Sir, yes.

LEVESON Because that’s the other side of the coin. There may be no other side, and I take your point that the articles speak for themselves.

SHERBORNE Sir, yes.

LEVESON But its…

SHERBORNE It is, and I’m sure that the particular core participants that this refers to would be interested to understand it, if there is another side to their story.

LEVESON Yes. All right. That’s food for thought.

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One comment on “Leveson requests names of journalists involved in media frenzy

  1. Now this could bring some real truth out. If the actual journalists who wrote the stories which were later shown to be lies in both the Jefferies and McCann cases are asked why they wrote them they will have to come up with some kind of convincing answer or drop their bosses into the nasty stuff. And these are journalists who put their names to the invented stories in both cases. Interesting times ahead.  We might actually get to find out why the lies about the McCanns and Jefferies were printed from the horses mouths.

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