Julia Hartley-Brewer clashes with press regulation campaigner over Jimmy Savile

Section 40: 'Press reforms are not blackmail, they are an incentive', says Hacked Off

A consultation on press reforms ends today

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

talkRADIO presenter Julia Hartley-Brewer got rather angry with campaigner Dr Evan Harris during a debate on press regulation this morning.

The flashpoint came when Harris mentioned Jimmy Savile, the former TV star who was exposed as a serial paedophile after his death. 

According to Harris, the media's failure to publicise Savile's abuse of children during his lifetime undermines the claim, often cited by opponents of press regulation, that the newspapers play a consistently vital role in exposing corruption and criminality in public life. Julia had little truck with his suggestion and gave Harris short strift.

Harris, a member of the Hacked Off campaign group pushing for greater regulation of the press, was speaking on the final day of a consultation looking into whether newspapers should be forced to pay legal costs in libel cases, even if they win. The proposal is meant to encourage greater rigour and responsibility among journalists.

Our interviewee said the proposals are not blackmail - rather, they are an incentive which would help hundred of people who are treated badly.

Listen to the full interview above