In the third instalment of our series of interviews with knowledgeable figures in the wake of the Leveson report, I sent some questions via email to Professor George Brock. Professor Brock has been the Head of the Department of Journalism at City University London since September 2009, and before that spent 28 years at The Times. He is a former President of the World Editors Forum.
Editors Weblog: Do you agree with Lord Justice Leveson that 'this is not, and cannot be characterised as, statutory regulation of the press'?
George Brock: It's not statutory regulation of the press but it does introduce an element of statute where none has operated before. That's not without risk.
Putting the issue of whether or not this regulation should be statutory, do you agree in principle with the sort of body that Leveson proposes to establish?
Yes, I think it would be an improvement on what has gone before – most particularly the "arbitral arm" which would promise quicker, cheaper redress in cases of defamation of invasion of privacy. The length and cost of cases has been a major issue and tipped the scale too far in favour of big media.