No weddings, no funerals – phone hacking victims lay out case for media reform

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.