Sir Harold Evans on the 47-per-cent-free press


Back when he was a vigorously campaigning editor of the Sunday Times, Harold Evans gave a famous speech in which he described Britain's newspaper industry as the "half-free press". More than 30 years later, he thinks that current threats to journalism - particularly from the backlash over phone hacking - will mean we'll be back down to about 47 per cent free "if you want to be facetiously numerical about it." He told the Today programme why that's important. And why it's a "not a press issue, it's a people issue."

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The Met Retreats?


The Crown Prosescution Service has persuaded the Met Police not to use the Official Secrets Act to pursue Amelia Hill, the newspaper's reporter who disclosed that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked. It is not yet clear that the Met will abandon its pursuit of Hill entirely. Readers will remember that police investigating phone hacking were  seeking an order under the Official Secrets Act to oblige Guardian journalists to disclose the identity of  sources who gave them information about the scandal. Geoffrey Robertson QC said  "If the journalists are jailed, it will be an ironic tribute to the stupidity of Scotland Yard: a police service that fails to investigate criminal hackers and puts in jail the journalists who exposed them."  The press has been unanimous in its condemnation of the Met's approach with ideological rivals including the Daily Mail wading in to support the Guardian. But this may not be over yet. Continue to watch, read and debate.

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The depressing tale of Johann Hari


Here is a blunt piece about a star Independent columnist's recent "apology", for making up quotes.

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My racing blogging competition


CFJ residents,

I'm in the final 6 of a racing blogging competition (horse racing, sorry F1 junkies!) run by Love the Races and The Guardian, and I have to provide 10 blogs before October the 1st. The first prize is £1000 and 2 weeks work exp at The Guardian racing dept.

The link is this:

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Hacking isn't our biggest problem


As Lord Leveson begins his work, Times Higher Education invited me to consider the broad significance of the phone hacking scandal. It matters, hacking is almost always utterly wrong (almost, not always) but it would be foolish to imagine it is the most serious issue facing journalism or that it deserves entirely the ferocious storm of sanctimony it has generated.

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The benefits of online portfolios (aka websites) for journalists


Earlier in the summer I saw a post on my Twitter feed about online portfolios. I meant to post it on here sooner but I got a bit side-tracked.

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Congratulations to students joining us in September


Congratulations to all those students who achieved the A-level grades they needed to join us in September. We're looking forward to meeting you again and, we hope, setting you on the road to journalism success. In the meantime, why not join our Facebook page and introduce yourselves.

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Mark Stone in the thick of it


If anyone hasn't seen this then they should. Brilliant eye-witness journalism.

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Graduation pictures on Facebook


A selection of pictures from our recent graduation ceremony (thanks to Gerardo) are now available on the CfJ's all-new Facebook page. It's still a work in progress, but it would be helpful if all you Facebookers out there could 'like' the page. I need 25 'likes' for the page to be able to give the page a proper name. Once you've 'liked' the page, you should also be able to post your own pics from the graduation ceremony to the page - so please feel free. We'd love to see more.

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Tania shines at Sky News


This year's Bob Friend scholar, Tania Steere, is into her second week at Sky News and seems to be having a ball. She's largely been shadowing reporters and working on the planning desk - but yesterday saw her first piece of content used in a package. She interviewed one of the widows of servicemen who were exposed to radiation during weapons testing at Christmas Island in the 1950s. 

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