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David Puttnam

Precious, fragile, easily squandered. Is there any hope for trust?

Precious, fragile, easily squandered. Is there any hope for trust?

31 March, 2015

Protesters at the LevesonThe British public is reeling from scandals afflicting many UK institutions – the media among them; we are in danger of losing a prize that will not be easily won back.

We’ve suffered a cascade of “scandals”; from the financial crisis of 2008, to the parliamentary expenses catastrophe, press misdeeds and police malpractice. Never far away, deep anxiety about business ethics. Little wonder the public find themselves reeling from mistrust of the entire system.

You would have hoped that any observer of these events might have taken note of the enormous premium the public place on trust and authenticity. Some hope.

It’s now almost two and half years since the Leveson report on press regulation was published. It’s 18 months since the subsequent royal charter was established. Yet, for the victims of press intrusion it must seem like several lifetimes, for no progress of consequence, certainly nothing that would signal a change in our culture or compassion is in any way evident.

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