Jon Silverman casts an eye on the media
METROPOLITAN POLICE Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has faced a media onslaught for his handling of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. But one journalist interested more than most in how he is coping with the pressure is Jon Silverman.
The former BBC home- and legal-affairs correspondent, Mr Silverman, 58, recently joined the University of Bedfordshire as professor of media and criminal justice. The part-time post involves researching the impact of a changing media on senior criminal-justice policy-makers. “As a result of increasing media pressure, there has been a sea change in the speed of responses made by policy-makers, such as politicians; chief constables; and heads of prisons,” he explains. “There is a feeling among politicians that if you do not respond immediately to a situation, you will be hammered in the media. Is this a healthy position to be in?” Prof Silver- man plans to spend the next two years finding out.
He tells People: “I will be looking at how people in Sir Ian Blair’s position will be coping.”
He adds: “The post is a unique opportunity for me to look at the media from both sides.”
During his career, he won a Gold Sony Broadcasting Award for investigations that led to the first arrest for Nazi war crimes in the UK. He is now freelancing, and is currently working with journalists in West Africa, in association with the BBC World Service Trust, to help them cover war-crimes trials.
Home is in Finchley, North London.