Interview for The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom
In light of the UK Law Commission’s proposal for legislation that would treat whistleblowers as foreign spies and put convicted reporters in prison possibly for 14 years – among other rights violations – the ECPMF has interviewed University of Sussex’s Paul Lashmar at length.
After a successful career as an investigative reporter and news producer, Lashmar obtained his PhD from Brunel University. His research has dealt with the relationship between the media and secret (state) intelligence.
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ECPMF: As an investigative journalist, what are your main concerns about what is proposed?
I work from the simple premise that a free inquiring press (news media) is vital for democracy. This is an untidy process but it sort of works better than any other model, a bit like democracy. As I have often said the news media have been the only effective oversight mechanism for intelligence. This is historically proven.