07/12/2011

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Anne McElvoy presents the programme this week.

Jonathan Miller is back from Syria, where he's been reporting for ITN and working on a documentary for Channel 4, "Syria's Torture Machine". Following on from his experience in the making of "Sri Lanka's Killing Fields", the new documentary includes images taken from mobile phone videos, allegedly showing abuse and torture. He tells Anne what it is like to work openly as a foreign reporter in Syria and what happened when he tried to talk to people who had not been approved by his minders. The documentary will be shown on Channel 4 on Monday 19th December at 11.10pm.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve MP has been flagging up his intention to prosecute journalists who threaten to prejudice or impede trials, with a handful of convictions already since he took office 18 months ago. He is trying to stem the flow of stories about people who have been arrested with new emphasis on the risk of discouraging witnesses from coming forward if the suspect's name has been tarnished. Will he fine journalists in future, or go further and jail them?

And The Independent's had two front page stories this week which have made the news more widely, on lobbyists Bell Pottinger, based on secret filming of their staff when bidding for new business. Bell Pottinger say they are complaining to the PCC and have instructed lawyers. Iain Overton worked on the story for the Bureau of Investigation - is this story really in the public interest, when it arguably shows little more than lobbyists boasting to attract new clients? And how does The Times' Danny Finkelstein respond to the lobbyists claims that he is worth targeting to place ideas in his columns?

The producer is Simon Tillotson.

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30 minutes

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Wed 7 Dec 2011 16:30