Lord Black of Brentwood joined a bursting room of Young Stationers last night at Buck's to share his thoughts on life after Leveson.
In the rambunctious questions for which these dinners have been known, Lord Black suggested he was receiving more of a grilling than he had from Lord Justice Leveson! He noted the importance of a campaigning, investigating, boisterous printed press in setting the agenda for the broadcast news, and said the fact of the Inquiry had rooted out misbehaviour more than its likely policy recommendations would do.
Arguing it would pose a political headache for the Government now to attempt to introduce statutory regulation of the press, after not showing the Inquiry what a draft bill might look like, he instead favoured a son-of-PCC with teeth and serious financial penalties, established in contract law amongst publishers and broadcasters.
No stranger at all either to the Company or to younger journalists, Lord Black in June was both patron and judge of the Shine school media awards, which recognises very young newspaper makers!
The Company was well represented, with the Clerk, Master, and Registrar all in attendance, and the Rev'd Gregory Platten acting as the Young Stationers' chaplain.
Last night's dinner was the third in the Young Stationers' series of evenings featuring wise, interesting minds from the broader world of journalism and print, following on the heels of earlier dinners with Past Master Christopher McKane, and with Lord Inglewood on investigative journalism.
The Young Stationers eagerly look forward to the next in their speaker series, a parliamentary panel on the Draft Defamation Bill as it enters Lords stages this autumn before likely enactment early next year—and, as ever, a fulsome repast after! Watch this space for confirmation of the date which it is hoped will be in November.