Morgan, Mills and using #leveson as your main view of the Inquiry

Posted on December 21, 2011


I thought I was finished with this blog for 2011. It’s not that I haven’t had time in the past week, just that I’m with family and turning to this seems a bit, well, work-y. But Leveson goes on.

Over the past month or so the biggest distraction to my working or private life has been the Leveson Inquiry in London. Christmas is even a distant second, on balance. It’s not that I haven’t been working away but my home office, instead of being filled with silence (on a good day) or the sounds of Spotify (on others), has been tuned in often to a Leveson feed, usually from the BBC or Guardian, that I don’t seem to be able to pause or otherwise work around.

Only now I find myself many miles away, not just outside of those publications’ home turf (some have been saying they’re not streaming to certain countries though I haven’t properly checked) but in a rural area with poor internet connectivity. I’m not knocking it too much – my in-laws only had dial-up until very recently – but it does mean tuning in to audio or video isn’t as natural as at home.

I hadn’t given it much thought but yesterday I really wanted to listen to the Piers Morgan session. One thing that does comes through loud and clear is my Twitter feed. For the first time, with a couple of quite dull exceptions for work over the past year (sorry Apple, that even includes you), I had to rely on following an event purely over Twitter.

Verdict? Logistically, even though a lot of people I already follow such as Will Sturgeon’s excellent @TheMediaTweets and reporters like the FT’s @benfenton were tweeting on this, I wanted a wider feed, so in came the #leveson, #hackgate and even #piers hashtags.

Through those fire hoses then come dozens of people who don’t professionally work in the media or other well-Twittered areas but aren’t short of commentary and opinions. And who doesn’t have an opinion about Morgan?

In some ways watching it all play out on Twitter in the absence of any primary feed (rather than alongside one) is more entertaining, perhaps like following the crap football team on Ceefax, as the joke used to go.

Of course it’s unreliable – I wouldn’t want to present as fact even now that Morgan looked like his videoconference was from a toilet cubicle or that he had a bottle of Evian in front of him. (Which spells ‘naïve’ backwards, one member of the Twitterverse gladly informed the world.)

But I’m probably in the minority of people wanting to see and hear something for myself before relaying it as fact.

That aside, I would still say that Twitter – a mix of trusted individual and corporate voices as well as people I’ve never heard from before and possibly won’t again – definitely scratched an itch.

As I write this it seems Heather Mills is denying a lot of what Morgan said. You can imagine, if you’re not already tuned in, some of the humour involved in the #leveson stream. Probably even better than being there.

Posted in: Social media