Society of Editors Conference 2011 #soe11

I am very sorry that I will not be able to attend the conference today.

Roy Greenslade has just revealed that six months ago, members of the DCMS Select Committee were the targets of covert surveillance by private investigators and journalists working for News International. This revelation became the third occasion that I know of in which I was a target of covert surveillance News Corp in the UK.

Under the circumstances, I have to spend the day seeking advice from the Speaker and discussing the matter with fellow members of the DCMS Select Committee as to our legal and constitutional position.

I am very disappointed not to be with you. Had I been there, I would have made the case for editors getting on the front foot and coming up with their own reform position – one that protects the noble tradition of robust, no-nonsense journalism that typifies the British newspaper industry but that ensures editors put matters right when they get them wrong.

I would also have taken a pot shot at Lord Patten’s lugubrious speech justifying the BBC not being able to adequately investigate the phonehacking scandal. The DCMS committee published a report that found Rupert Murdoch’s executives guilty of “collective amnesia”. We found it “inconceivable” that others were not involved in hacking. Where was Nick Robinson, the most powerful political editor in the land, during this period? Kissing Andy Coulson’s arse.

Please feel free read out the contents of this letter to delegates with my sincere apologies for not being there.

3 thoughts on “Society of Editors Conference 2011 #soe11”

  1. I don’t blame you for your anger, Tom. Maybe some people will want you to revise the language of the Nick Robinson section. Please don’t.

    And please ignore the criticism re. the Mafia stuff. Sure, it was possibly not the most sober or sensible question, but it admirably demonstrated your passion and anger at the smooth black walls being erected around NewsCorp. Keep hammering. You’ll get them in the end.

  2. Tom, Please ensure you have two or three true friends that you can turn to, Your Plain speaking is a credit to your integrity and something that is completely missing from politics and the media. Please take care, and in the moments of questionning, ‘self-doubt; or simply wondering how the hell you stand where you stand – please try to remember you are a brave person, probably shrugged off by yourself – but we the people trust you, support you – where and when we can – you are not alone. Midnight is the darkest hour – hold on…. the dawn will break.

    Wishing you every good wish, you keep hope alive for so many folk you will never know or meet.

    Well done Tom

  3. Tom you’re doing a great job! Watching with much interest from Down Under. Keep it up old mate, this is gold.

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