政客与媒体 媒体控制

作者:未知 来源:译生译世 2015-11-25

Politicians v newspapers
政客与媒体

Hold the presses
媒体控制

The battle over newspaper regulation rolls into the long grass
新闻法规之战暂被搁置

“IT IS not even the beginning of the end, but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” That (quoting Winston Churchill) is one MP's verdict on Britain's battle over newspaper standards. His judgment, if grandiloquent, is accurate. The clash between politicians and newspapers, which began with the revelation in 2011 of widespread phone-hacking by a tabloid, appears to have reached a conclusion. On October 30th the government approved a new regulatory system to discipline Fleet Streetmisbehaviour. But the hostilities have merely been postponed.
“那不是末日的开端,而可能是开端的终结。”这是某国会议员引用丘吉尔的名言对英国报纸标准做出的结论。如果极力夸大事态的严重性,他的论断则恰如其分。从2011年沸沸扬扬的窃听门事件开始,政客与报纸之间的对抗似乎总算有了一个了结。10月30日,为了督管英国报业的不当举措,政府通过了一个新的监管体系。但这无非只是推后了双方的战争。

The new system is the product of months of debate and compromise. Reacting to the phone-hacking scandal, the government commissioned a judge to investigate press standards. After a tortuous, year-long inquiry, Lord Justice Levesonrecommended a tough new regulator backed by legislation.
这一新的体系是数月以来辩论和妥协的产物。作为对窃听门事件的回应,政府委任一位法官去调查媒体标准问题。经历了一些兜圈子、耗时一年的调查后,英国最高法院大法官莱维森③提议要建立一个强硬的监管体系,这一提议获法律支持。

In March the three main political parties responded by proposing a royal charter—an ancient device seen as less offensive to a free press than statute would be. The charter provides for a regulator as well as a “recognition panel”, free from press or political control, to police its independence. The regulator could impose fines of up to £1m ($1.6m) on newspapers and insist on prominent corrections. The charter also exposes newspapers that refuse to join the regulatory regime to punitive damages if cases are brought against them.
3月,三个主要的政治团体提出皇家特许状作为回应—这是很久以来对自由媒体采取的策略中,较成文法而言攻击性较小的法案。特许状提出要建立监管体系以及监管机构筹备组来管辖报业独立,而这一机构既不受制于媒体,也不受制于政治团体。它可向报业征收高达100万欧元(合160万美元)的罚款,且有权要求报业对报道内容作出重大更正。特许状也曝光了那些拒绝加入监管体系的报纸,若案件与其不利,则有权对其征收损害性赔偿。

The large newspaper groups are having none of it. They claim the royal charter amounts to government meddling. On October 30th judges struck down their bid to delay its introduction. Hours later the royal charter received the queen's assent. Politicians declared their job complete.
大的报纸团体拒不买账。他们声称皇家特许状就相当于政府干预。10月30日,法官否决了他们企图延迟特许状问世的诉讼。几个小时之后,皇家特许状获得了女王的应允。政客们也表示他们的任务圆满完成。

Ministers hope that editors and owners will sign up to the new system in order to avoid being hit with punitive damages. Some MPs think an ongoing news story will help push them into line. The trial of Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, two former editors charged with authorising illegal reporting methods, began on October 28th. On October 30th a jury was told that three former journalists had pleaded guilty to charges of phone-hacking.
部长们希望编辑和报刊所有者为了避免被索要损害性赔偿,会选择签署加盟新的体系。一些国会议员也认为正在进行的报业整改有助于帮他们回到正轨。10月28日,两位前编辑利百加·布鲁克斯和安迪.科尔森因批准非法报道渠道而被法院起诉。10月30日,陪审团被告知三位前记者对监听电话的指控供认不讳。

That is wishful thinking. Claire Enders, a media analyst, says there is “zero” chance of the big newspapers accepting the new regime. The largest groups have launched another legal challenge to it. They have also created an alternative system, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). This will not comply with the royal charter—not least as it will have fewer powers and will not be completely independent of the press—but the businesses behind it have deep enough pockets to pay eye-watering damages, should it come to that. They will settle with victims of abuse more readily than before, reckons Ms Enders, who also doubts that the smaller newspaper outfits will sign up to the royal charter system.
媒体分析家克莱尔恩德斯称让大报接受新的体系绝无胜算,只能是痴心妄想。最大的报纸团体已经掀起了一场法律的挑战。他们也创造了一个可供替代的体系,即独立新闻标准组织(IPSO)。这一体系不会遵守皇家特许状—可以说完全不遵守,因为其权利较少,且并不完全独立于媒体—但是如果局面真的一发不可收拾,其背后的企业便可提供足够的财力去偿还惨不忍睹的损失。克莱尔恩德斯承认,相较过去,这会更加容易使诽谤受害者平息下来,但他也怀疑小的报纸会归服于皇家特许状。

The politicians' charter will find few or no takers, then—and will eventually crumple. That will happen slowly. The recognition panel, which will monitor progress, will not report on the system's success or failure until shortly before, or even after, the 2015 election. So there will be months of delay before another showdown between the press and MPs.
政客推出的特许状几乎没有人愿意接受—因而最终会面临崩溃的局面。这个过程会很迟缓。监视此进程的监管机构筹备组不会把这一体系的成功与失败于2015大选前后报道出来。因此,据媒体和国会议员之间摊牌还会有数个月的时间。

That suits many people just fine. Mr Cameron, wary of poisoning relations with the press and of Tory colleagues fiercely opposed to regulation, is happy to kick the matter into the long grass. Those keenest on regulation—the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties and Hacked Off, a group representing press victims—want to give the charter time to work. Neither Labour nor the Lib Dems plan to question its success until the recognition panel has reported. The tabloid owners and editors are the happiest of all to play for time: the longer the politicians' system is delayed, the more time IPSO has to win acceptance. Legal challenges might delay the process further.
很多人对这一法规都没有异议。卡梅隆诚惶诚恐地调节着和媒介之间的病态关系,处理着保守党对这一法规的激烈反对,于他而言,他非常乐意把这件事搁置一边。对这一法规极度热忱的党派—工党,自由民主党和受害者们(媒体受害者群体)都想给皇家特许状时间,让其发挥作用。工党和自由民主党计划直到监管机构筹备组报道时,再对其成功与否发出质疑。小报所有者和编辑则对这种时间游戏欢欣不已:政客推出的体系耽搁的越久,独立新闻标准组织(IPSO)就越有胜算。法律的挑战可能会进一步延缓整个过程。

Eventually, probably after the next election, the failure of the royal charter will force politicians back to the drawing board. Most in Labour and the Lib Dems, along with a minority of Tories, might then look to statutory regulation of the press—a prospect even less acceptable to the newspapers than the royal charter. The battle has been postponed. It will be even more vicious when it rejoins.
最终,或许就在下次大选之后,皇家特许状的失败会迫使政客们从头开始。大多数工党、自由民主党,以及托利党党羽的一少部分可能都会关注媒体的法定规则—这是对报纸而言比皇家特许状更难以接受的未来。这场战役被推后了,但当其卷土重来之时,其杀伤力会更加剧烈。译者:张丹 校对:黄佳欣

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