If we’re to eliminate fear of and from the media then we have to reform libel too

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As many have, rightly, pointed out  the reason for Murdoch's extraordinary power has been the fear he's been able to create.  The effect has been pernicious.  Reform to shatter that power, and remove that fear, is essential. I take my hat off to those organisations  like 38 Degrees and Avaaz who have helped start that process through their mass, online, campaigns.

But there is another aspect of fear that has to be removed from the media if we are to have an effective Fourth Estate in this country.  Our libel laws are  also pernicious.  They stop us holding people to account.  They stop us telling the truth about those who hold power, and who abuse it. They stop us  telling the truth  because the price  of defending that truth is too high.

Yes, we must transform the press,  and not just the News International  part of it.  I look forward to the Mail,  at least, being held to account as well.  But that is only the starting point.  Unless we reform our libel laws  our freedoms will remain shackled,  and that is simply unacceptable if we are to create the necessary freedom to prevent corruption and abuse in this country.