Bloggers don't do it for the money, Leveson Inquiry told

Blogger and media lawyer David Allen Green has praised social media at the Leveson Inquiry today.

Green, legal commentator at the New Statesman, argued that bloggers and Twitter users should not be viewed as “rogues”, adding that social media users often act responsibly and regulate themselves by being transparent.

“Most alleged abuses by people using social media can often be traced back to someone who may or may not have an agenda,” he said.

He added it was “wonderful” that mainstream sources were co-operating with social media users, noting that “almost every journalist now has a Twitter account” and that the platform is increasingly used to distribute breaking information quickly.

Revealing he has made about “about £12” from advertisements on his Jack of Kent blog, Green told Lord Justice Leveson bloggers do not blog for the money but to “engage in public debate…[and] be part of a civic society.”

He claimed the mainstream media’s use of photographs from social media sites such as Facebook was “analogous” to the phone-hacking scandal, noting that newspapers do it “routinely” without recognising that it is a form of copyright infringement.

The editor-in-chief of the Press Association, Jonathan Grun, also appeared today. He said the news agency, which provides a “constant stream” of stories and video to major British news organisations, placed great emphasis on accuracy, adding that its customers needed to be able to rely on it without making checks.

He said most editorial mistakes occur “by accident”. He described one occasion in which a PA reporter with 30 years of experience confused someone named in a story with another person of the same name. Grun said it was the agency’s “gravest editorial error”, adding that the reporter was so ashamed that they resigned.

There will be a directions hearing for Module 2 of the Inquiry, which will examine the relationships between the press and police, later this afternoon.

Hearings continue tomorrow, with evidence from representatives from Facebook and Google, the Information Commissioner’s Office and journalist Camilla Wright.

Follow Index on Censorship’s coverage of the Leveson Inquiry on Twitter – @IndexLeveson