Unlike Dyson, Victims of Unregulated Media Without His Money Have No Chance of Being Heard

No Embargo

Sir James Dyson

Closing arguments were heard this week in the case of Sir James Dyson, who is suing the Daily Mirror for libel.

In the article central to the case, the newspaper columnist Brian Reade referred to the wealthy businessman as “the vacuum-cleaner tycoon who championed Vote Leave due to the economic opportunities it would bring to British industry before moving his global head office to Singapore”.

He later added in the same article: “Kids, talk the talk but then screw your country, and if anyone complains, tell them to suck it up.”

The closing arguments by lawyers for the 76-year-old were heard at the locals of justice earlier this week against  Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN), with the article having been published almost 2 years ago in January 2022.

Redress Requires Wealth

A newspaper employs columnists to make comments about facts and judgement has been reserved; but whatever the result, Sir James had the opportunity not just as a wealthy man to bring a legal case but also to complain to an independent arbitration body if he felt he was unfairly treated.

Yet for many people who were the victims of unregulated media, this is not an option.  At best they must throw themselves on the mercy of those who produced the complained about article in the first place, and are occasionally offered the carrot of writing a letter for “consideration”, as if this generous act somehow puts everything right.

It does not.

A new service called QC after the Latin phrase ‘Quis custodiet ipso custodes?’, or ‘Who guards the guardians?’, aims to offer this right of a fair reply by looking at the article and the organisation’s code of conduct and putting it through the filter of journalism.

It is politically impartial, all that counts is how the journalism organisation claims to have has been applied in a specific case.

Notes for journalists and editors

Website: https://mediawatch.report/

Email for queries:  mike@cenagency.co.uk

Download a high-resolution image of Michael Leidig

Download a high-resolution version of QC logo

Read more about the case in the Press Gazette.