Professor Paul Wragg joins “Hacked Off” Board

Hacked Off is the campaign for a free and accountable press.

The School of Law’s expert in Media Law Professor Paul Wragg has joined the Board of “Hacked Off” after being approached by the Chair Hugh Tomlinson QC.

The Hacked Off Campaign was established in 2011 in response to the phone-hacking revelations and campaigns for a free and accountable press for the public. They are committed to holding power to account and building a press which works for everyone. The Board also includes actor Hugh Grant; a phone-hacking victim and presenter Jacqui Hames; a target of press abuse.  

Professor Wragg explained “it is incredibly important to hold the press to account when their work unduly interferes with the rights of others, as it has on numerous occasions. This includes both printing private information about individuals and invading their privacy through news gathering activities (including intrusion into grief and suffering, harassment, seeking to conduct interviews in private places and engaging with vulnerable people).

“There is a common misconception that press malfeasance only affects celebrities, politicians or those who are seen to ‘deserve it’. Actually, more often than not, victims of press abuse are ordinary (and often vulnerable) people who have simply piqued the interest of the press and have subsequently lost their livelihoods, had their personal lives ruined, but lack the resources to secure their rights in court.

“Meaningful regulations are vital in these circumstances to allow these people to gain justice and they are currently sorely missing.

“Another common misconception is the idea that mandatory independent press regulation is incompatible with press freedom. The regulatory rules that the press should abide by were designed by journalists and are intended to secure no more than the rights that victims already have. Papers are still free to go about their business, they just can’t trample over other people’s rights to do so”.

I am looking forward to contributing to the important work Hacked Off does championing victims of press injustice and malfeasance, and contributing to the national debate about the ongoing urgent need for mandatory independent press regulations

Professor Wragg has recently published a book which challenges the common myths about the so called incompatibility of press regulations and free speech – ‘A Free and Regulated Press’.