Leveson: regulate bloggers and Twitter users as well as newspapers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 December, 2012, 5:02am


The man who led the inquiry into Britain's phone-hacking scandal warned that bloggers and tweeters should be subject to the same laws as traditional media outlets, to prevent a decline in standards of journalism.

Senior judge Brian Leveson said court judgments and civil rulings such as name suppressions must be enforced for internet users just as they are for newspapers, magazines and journals.

Otherwise, there was a risk that the standard of journalism would drop as press companies try to compete with new forms of digital media, Leveson said in a speech at Australia's Melbourne University on Wednesday evening.

"If we are to ensure that appropriate standards are maintained, we must meet those challenges and ensure that the media not only remains subject to the law but it is not placed at a disadvantage where the enforcement of the law is concerned," he said.

"We will therefore have to think creatively about how we ensure that the law is capable of equal application and is applied equally and fairly against the mainstream media and bloggers, tweeters and other online amateur journalists."

Leveson, who led an eight-month inquiry into the culture of British media sparked by the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World, said if change did not happen journalists could be tempted to cut corners.