INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tony Blair reflects on the role of the media

Published: Mon 18 Jun 2007 12:43 AM
Tony Blair reflects on the role of the media
Tony Blair delivers his final lecture in the Our Nation's Future series; image copyright Reuters The Prime Minister has delivered his eighth and final lecture in the "Our Nation's Future" series.
The speech focused on the changing relationship between politics and the media in the 21st Century.
The Prime Minister said that it had been an "immense privilege" to do his job and that any adverse publicity during his tenure had been "a small price to pay". He called upon the media to enter into a "proper and considered debate" on how best to keep the public properly informed in a rapidly changing media environment.
Speaking at the Reuters building in Canary Wharf, Mr Blair put forward two main ideas. The media could voluntarily focus on objectivity and accuracy rather than "impact alone", and an independent Press Commision could pass and enforce rulings "when things go seriously wrong".
The Prime Minister confessed to paying "inordinate attention" in the early years of New Labour to "courting, assuaging, and persuading the media". He added that the "ferocious hostility" of some commentators had made it "hard to see any alternative".
The PM began the lecture series to focus on the biggest issues facing the country today. Previous topics have included defence, criminal justice, public health and the role of work.
ENDS

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