View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
September 26, 2018updated 01 Oct 2018 1:30pm

Jeremy Corbyn tells Labour Conference free press in UK ‘has too often meant the freedom to spread lies and half-truths’

By Freddy Mayhew

Jeremy Corbyn quickly targeted the UK press in his speech at the Labour Party conference, claiming a free press in this country “has far too often meant the freedom to spread lies and half-truths and to smear the powerless, not take on the powerful”.

The Labour leader, who delivered his speech in Liverpool earlier today, spoke more broadly of the need to “protect the freedom of the press to challenge unaccountable power”.

He noted the plight of journalists from Myanmar, Turkey and Columbia who are “being imprisoned, harassed and sometimes killed by authoritarian governments and powerful corporate interests just for doing their job of trying to find out the truth of the oppression that happens in their societies”.

But he ramped up the anti-mainstream media rhetoric, popular with left-wingers, calling out to party supporters that they can “challenge their [the media’s] propaganda of privilege by using the mass media of the 21st Century: social media”.

Corbyn also reasserted Labour’s support for Leveson Two, which has been dropped by the Government. He said it was “something the last prime minister promised but failed to deliver”.

An amendment to the Data Protection Bill to push through Leveson Two ping-ponged between the House of Lords and the House of Commons before finally being defeated in May.

Corbyn laid out his policy ideas for the media in more detail last month in delivering the Alternative McTarggart Lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival, reported by Press Gazette (including Corbyn’s full speech).

Content from our partners
Publishing on the open web is broken, how generative AI could help fix it
Impress: Regulation, arbitration and complaints resolution
Papermule: Workflow automation for publishers

There he said: “A free press is essential to our democracy, but much of our press isn’t very free at all… I want to see journalists and media workers set free to do their best work, not held back by billionaire owners or the by the state.”

The majority of the UK printed press is right-leaning, with the Guardian and the Mirror the only daily left-leaning titles.

Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay

Topics in this article : ,

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network