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The Leveson Inquiry: the Issue of Judgment

November 29, 2011,
Claire Montanaro

The Leveson Inquiry into British press standards  has produced some harrowing evidence already from witnesses, and even in these early days inspires questions about judgment and non-judgment - the latter being key.

Judgment has been a prevalent quality in investigative journalism for decades in the UK and many other countries, for the abuses which are under scrutiny are by no means confined to just one nation, nor just to journalists. I am talking here about finger-pointing, gossip, criticism, speculation, innuendo, fabrication, deception….all ugly words which define ugly and often hurtful if not dangerous practises, but practises which were known about, even accepted as part of our culture of a celebrity fascination which bordered on voyeurism. Judgment. There is not, in essence, much difference between a peeping tom covertly watching a neighbour undress and a press photographer snapping someone famous undressing to provide a picture for the next day's tabloids which millions of people will look at.

Politicians, police, media stars and the paper-buying public as well as the members of the press have allowed or even encouraged such practices for reasons of self-preservation, apathy, money or curiosity, and it is ironic that, having turned a blind eye for so long, these same people are now loud in condemnation. Judgment is at work again.

It would be wonderful if, as the extent of the intrusions and abuses becomes better known daily through Lord Leveson's work, the lessons about the perils of judgment could be learned and applied, by us all. It is hard not to be moved by some of the stories of cruelty and disrespect, but let us not fall into the trap of criticism and chatter about the "victims" and the press which contributed so greatly to these events occurring in the first place. They happened and it is important that the truth is known, but it would be helpful for the truth to be accepted with discernment and positivity, not emotion or accusation.

These revelations have the potential to revolutionise what is acceptable press conduct and human interest. Whatever undignified and repellant activities have occurred before in the name of press interest, there is much here for us all to learn, and for that we can be grateful and also, perhaps, humbled.


Claire Montanaro is a spiritual teacher, channel and blogger with special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition. Loves nature and wildlife. Author of "Spiritual Wisdom”.

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