Actor Hugh Grant tells a public rally for media reform how press problems go way beyond Murdoch. Photo by Patrick Chalmers
The crimes and misdemeanours of large sections of the British media were aired by their various victims during a public rally for Media Reform at Westminster Central Hall in central London on Thursday evening. The question on people’s lips was what will be their punishment and whether the ongoing Leveson Inquiry will be able to bring meaningful reforms either to British journalism or the political establishment it pretends to watch over.
Marc Barto and I elbowed our way through the crowds to land a series of video interviews with some of them, though Hugh Grant proved adept at dodging our efforts to engage him. No matter with the likes of former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames and others on hand to give first-hand accounts of their thorough maulings by the media.
Rounding off the evening, Labour MP Tom Watson explained how grassroots pressure for reform will be critical once the inquiry reports later this year, when pressure on MPs to water down proposals is likely to be intense.
Journalist Mark Covell was beaten unconscious by Italian police during the 2001 Genoa G8 summit.
He speaks here about the power of independent media and how independent journalists should buddy up, train and prepare to cover potentially violent demos so as to keep safe.
He was speaking before a screening of Black Block, a documentary about demonstrators attacked in cold blood by Italian riot police. It was shown as part of the Human Rights Watch Festival 2012 in London.
I did the interview with fellow independent journalist Glenn McMahon, who used an iPhone and iRig mic to shoot a no-edit video interview based on the visionOntv mobile phone interview template. The idea is to shoot short videos that can be rapidly uploaded to the internet with minimal hassle, vastly increasing the chances of making media that gets seen.
If you’re interested in the Black Block the film, which I highly recommend, you can get a sense of its shocking story in the following trailer.