It’s finally arrived.
Four chunky volumes, light blue covers, and running up to 2,000 pages—longer than War and Peace—the Leveson Inquiry report landed with a loud thud on the desk of Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday. A day later, at the Queen Elizabeth II conference center over the road from Westminster, journalists waited nervously for the tome to be made public, like errant school kids waiting for a dressing down from a stern headmaster.
The “feral” British press, renowned for its raucous and competitive nature, was indeed given a stern smack on the wrist for its culture, ethics, and practices in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal that shook Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. empire. Lord Justice Leveson excoriated Fleet Street for “a recklessness in prioritizing sensational stories,” of “wreaking havoc with people’s lives,” of targeting the children and families of celebrities whose “important personal moments are destroyed.” He went on condemn “a willingness to deploy covert surveillance … and deception.”
Additional reading: Leveson inquiry: panel verdict – Brian Cathcart, Zoe Margolis and other key figures digest Lord Justice Leveson’s report, which calls for a new press regulator