April 9, 2010


Quotes from Some of Our Supporters

Freedom of the media is something no democracy, however long established, should take for granted: for governments will also work insidiously to restrain it.
Graham Watson MEP
(Leader of the Alliance of Liberal and
Democrats in Europe – represents twenty countries)

I agree with the observation of that distinguished parliamentary commentator, Norman Shrapnel, that too much silence is far more ominous than too much noise in a parliamentary democracy. On that basis, I look forward to the Centre making a lot of much-needed noise.
Rt Hon Charles Kennedy MP

I’m deeply committed to the freedom of the press – and to freeing expression and the ability to speak out in areas of the world where the oppression of free speech is a major anti-democratic practice.
Rt Hon David Blunkett MP

Democracy cannot survive without a free, independent and honest media.  An academic centre of excellence to champion such a cause is long overdue.
Lynne Jones MP

In these days of centralisation of media control and the deaths of so many journalists around the world, I think your timing is close to perfect.
Hugh O’Donnell MSP

Responsible, accurate and timely reporting of facts is crucial in a democracy and we should encourage all our newspapers to do their very best to maintain those standards.
Baroness Harris

A free and fair media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. In new democracies like Wales, we have seen first hand how the absence of a strong multi-faceted indigenous media sometimes makes it difficult for people to understand the fundamental changes happening in government. Yet around the world, there are too many governments who see media freedom as a threat. I hope the work of the Centre will help spread that understanding. The relationship between media and politicians may not always be comfortable – but it is never less than essential.
Mike German AM

Ensuring genuine media freedom is an incredibly complex task but one that is essential in any decent society. Fighting attacks from outside as well as attacks from within requires debate and thoughtfulness. I wish the centre all the best with their work. I have no doubt it will become a key player in the journalistic field and I look forward to watching its work closely
Jenny Randerson AM

Journalism is now undoubtedly under threat and part of that is self-induced because we have reached a stage where it has become so celebrity-conscious and negative. Readers have no faith in newspapers, or radio and TV and don’t trust politics, banks and other institutions either. This is fertile ground for a new institution to carry out research, to ensure that we do not lose the much fought for Freedom of the Media and learn lessons from our own mistakes.
Gerald Isaaman
Former deputy chair, Association of British
 Editors, member of the Press Complaints Commission, external examiner Department of Journalism, City University

Research and analysis into media freedom issues is badly needed
Robin Lustig
(broadcaster and journalist, presenter The World
Tonight, BBC Radio 4 and Newshour, BBC World Service)

The Centre will have a vital role in feeding information to the media, NGOs, and the public – as well as the aspiration and opportunities it will offer to the individual researchers.
Umit Ozturk
(Chairman, Amnesty International Journalists’ Network)

This is definitely something Press Gazette should be supporting. I think there is great scope for investigation into the wider issues and also for raising awareness among journalists
Julie Tomlin
(Deputy Editor, Press Gazette)

I know from first hand how important press freedom is to a healthy society. This is an excellent initiative to address a fundamental aspect of institution-building in free societies.
Chris Huhne MP
(Former MEP, leader-writer The Guardian,business editor The Independent)

I believe an independent and free press is vital to any healthy democracy. Greater study into media freedoms is certainly very welcome. I wish you the best of luck.
Don Foster MP
(Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport)

There is considerable scope for research and work in this area, both within the UK and internationally, and I hope you will receive the necessary backing to move forward with the idea.
Liz Lynne MEP

We have needed such an institution for many years and there probably was never a time when it was needed more than now. I hope it will be a major bastion in helping the media think through the implications of freedom for themselves and to provide mutual support when it is under threat.
David Boyle
(Author of The New Democrat, formerly on editorial staff of CIS Today, member of Downing Street review of volunteering policy)

The Centre is a timely initiative. Domestically, the reputation of the media is suffering because of intense commercial pressures, the temptation to cut corners and lack of proper training. Internationally, there are threats to the freedom of the media on every continent.
David Walter
(Director, First Take Productions Ltd; former correspondent and presenter for BBC, ITN and Channel Four News)


Our Other Supporters

  • Lord Clement-Jones
  • Lord Kirkwood
  • Lord Razzall
  • Lord Teverson
  • Norman Baker MP
  • Rt Hon Sir Menzies Campbell QC MP
  • Damian Green MP
  • John Hemming MP
  • Lembit Opik MP
  • Robert Brown MSP
  • Mike Pringle MSP
  • Mike Tuffrey GLA
  • Trevor Mostyn Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
  • Elizabeth Smith Secretary-General, Commonwealth Broadcasting Association;
  • Fiona MacDonald Director of the Young UK Programme and former editor The Journalist’s Handbook
  • Kenneth Roy Director, Institute of Contemporary Scotland
  • Lady Deirdre Razzall Editor, Liberal Democrat News
  • Steve Oram Chairman, London Press Club
  • Mick North Chair, Infer Trust
  • Professor Elliot Shubert
  • Dr Julie Smith, Cambridge University

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