Martin Moore, Director, Media Standards Trust, gives a talk for the Redirecting Fleet Street: Media Regulation and the Role of Law conference.
Given that most people will be relatively familiar with the failure of accountability systems at News International, I'll outline the failure of such systems elsewhere in the UK national press, notably with respect to the findings and repercussions of Operation Motorman (2003). This operation revealed a pattern of privacy intrusion - much of it, according to the ICO, illegal - across the national press. Yet the response to the findings of the operation was minimal. The police and the ICO took little action. The PCC took almost no action. The papers themselves, for the most part, took no action at all even when the extent of their trade in personal information became clear. Some newspapers continued to behave in the same way until 2010. Even now there is widespread denial that the behaviour was either illegal or unethical. Moreover, the sanctions associated with such behaviour are unchanged, perpetuating the virtual unenforceability of the law. It is, as yet, unclear whether this will be resolved by the Leveson Inquiry.