On the Media MPs expenses: a triumph for journalism?

Talk Monday 8th June, 2009

With each new tranche of revelations about MPs expenses the Daily Telegraph has continued to put on sales and gained kudos for its good old fashioned journalistic scoop.
With a story that has shaken Westminster to its foundations the Daily Telegraph has been able to set the news agenda, releasing its revelations ahead of the 10pm news bulletins.
The daily diet of scoops is said to have boosted newspaper sales by tens of thousands and web traffic has also increased and no doubt will, in financial terms at least, justify the cost of obtaining the information.
But what does the expenses scandal tell us about journalism today?
Journalists Heather Brooke, the Sunday Times’ Jon Ungoed-Thomas and the Sunday Telegraph’s Ben Leapman have been plugging away at the story for years, fighting in court to force MPs to allow access to the information under the Freedom of Information Act.
How important was the fact that MPs continued to drag their heels over the publication of expenses in creating a market for the information? Is the importance of this story a vindication of chequebook journalism?
Join us at the Frontline Club to discuss the implications of the MPs’ expenses story for independent journalism.

Chair: Roy Greenslade, media commentator

Panel: Andrew Pierce, assistant editor, The Daily Telegraph

Stephen Tall, editor at large, the Liberal Democrat Voice

Journalist Heather Brooke, author of ‘Your Right to Know’

Independent editor Roger Alton