The gala will raise money to support The Journalism Foundation’s global projects, including the establishment of a new college of journalism in Tunisia, and also a programme to train young journalists in South Sudan.
In the build up to the event, we are compiling the views of figures from across the media spectrum on journalism today and in the future.
The series continues with Sir Menzies Campbell.
What does good journalism mean to you?
Good journalism is the foundation of a democratic society. Our parliamentary system in the UK depends upon accountability and transparency. These should be the objectives of good journalism.
What are the dangers of press censorship?
Censorship inevitably involves the authorities in some form or another intervening to prevent the publication of what they consider to be sensitive material. There should be no confusion between the national interest and Government embarrassment. The former may require that some material has to be kept confidential but the latter never can.
Is this an important time for journalism? If so, how?
We all await – politicians, journalists and broadcasters alike – the outcome of the Leveson Inquiry. Striking the balance between what is the legitimate privacy of the citizen and the principle of free speech and comment will be a testing task.
What kind of journalism needs to be championed and supported now?
I remember with admiration the investigative journalism which gave rise for example to the scandal of thalidomide. More concentration on issues of this kind at the expense of gossip and prurience would be in the interests of us all.
What can The Journalism Foundation hope to achieve? Why should it be supported?
The Journalism Foundation provides the opportunity for self-regulation and for ensuring the maintenance of the highest standards. The test must always be whether journalists are acting in the public interest.
How is the practice of journalism changing? What are the positives and negatives of these changes?
Leveson makes it clear that in certain cases the practices of journalism have resulted in a loss of public confidence. Without such public confidence journalism can never flourish.
Do you have worries about the future of journalism?
The impact of the information revolution has overtaken many of the traditional practices of journalism. We need an adjustment in professionalism and standards to keep pace with these momentous changes.
To read more about The Journalism Foundation’s gala fundraiser click here
For the rest in the series, click here.