Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Matthew Parris at Wells Cathedral

Mr Parris was a featured speaker at the Wells Literary Festival this evening. His thesis was that the Leveson Inquiry would shortly deliver well-meaning restrictions on the press which would inevitably restrict holding to account the great and the 'good'.

The only criterion of journalistic merit, according to Mr Parris, is the truth. Not all journalists, however, are as high-minded.

Parris foresaw The Guardian sliding into bankrupcy within five years and the loss-making Times not surviving the demise of the elder Murdoch. Twenty five years will see print journalism dead he opined; what's left will be the wild, unregulated west of the Internet.

Wells Cathedral, in its looming and cavernous beauty, was home to several hundred of The Times and Telegraph reading classes and they were minded to be sympathetic. As the talk concluded the evening turned to torrential rain and we walked home, soaked, through rivers running off the Mendips.