Kent media expert Patrick Barrow on Leveson

Patrick Barrow, Reputation Communications
Patrick Barrow, Reputation Communications

by business editor Trevor Sturgess

Media expert Patrick Barrow has contributed to a book on the fallout from the Leveson inquiry into the British press.

Mr Barrow, co-founder of Reputation Communications, based near Sevenoaks, wrote a chapter for a previous book on Leveson.

The latest book, launch a few days ago, is called "After Leveson: The Future of British Journalism."

Top names in journalism attended the launch at The Media Society which staged a debate on the controversial subject.

Mr Barrow uses his experience with BBC News to examine the intertwining of the Leveson Inquiry and the Jimmy Savile scandal at the BBC and discussed whether newspapers covered it so extensively as a form of "tabloid revenge" on the Corporation.

In the book, Mr Barrow writes: "As Leveson himself said, there is “a cultural tendency within parts of the press vigorously to resist or dismiss complainants almost as a matter of course".

They would, he said, exact revenge through "high-volume, extremely personal attacks on those who challenge them". It was a lesson the BBC and its management was about to learn "in the most painful fashion".

Mr Barrow adds: "True to the highest forms of tragedy then, the makings of the BBC's downfall were inherent in its own character. And fate was working feverishly to have circumstances conspire to a point where the BBC's fault lines would be dreadfully exposed to its gathering enemies."

Other contributions ranged from press freedom to the impact of Leveson on local and regional media, whistle blowing and a perceived public distrust of newspapers.

The book, edited by journalism academic John Mair and published by Abramis at £15 is available from Amazon.

Mr Barrow will be writing about the Leveson inquiry and his contribution to the latest book in the next issue of Kent Business, available with most KM Group paid-for titles in early April.

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