Sir Brian Leveson praised a Kingston University (KU) project that documents the Leveson Inquiry online at a launch event recently.

The event was held last week (April 2) to mark the launch of, a new online project created by a team of academics led by the Journalism Department at KU.

The Discover Leveson project is focused around a website that gives free and easy access to the public testimony and submissions to the Leveson Inquiry, the UK-based investigation into journalistic practices that was established in the wake of the phone hacking scandal in 2011-12.

The project was led by KU's Journalism Department, working with the SDS Group and with support from the David and Elaine Potter Foundation, the Alexander Mosley Charitable Trust and 13 other universities across the UK.

The easy-to-use online resource features video testimonies and transcripts from the inquiry's 198 public sessions.

The website also contains witness statements and submissions as well as the Leveson Report itself, alongside short essay guides introducing the inquiry's key themes.

Among the included testimonies are those of high-profile hacking victims such as Hugh Grant and Steve Coogan, and key decision makers at the time including David Cameron and Theresa May.

Speaking of the pleasure he took in hearing that students now use the inquiry's evidence to learn about how journalism was practised in the late 20th and early 21st century, Sir Brian, who led the inquiry and is now President of the Queen's Bench Division of the judiciary, emphasised the role of the new online archive in helping achieve the inquiry's goal of transparency.

Sir Brian said: "This archive keeps the question of who guards the guardians alive and that can only be in the public interest.

"I thank Kingston University for allowing the inquiry and its report to continue to live on in the public consciousness," he said.

During his speech Sir Brian recalled how one of the watch words for the inquiry had been transparency — and explained how this led to him deciding that the proceedings should be live streamed.

Sir Brian said: "I thought it would be counter-intuitive to ask those who complained of press abuse in the form of invasion of privacy to speak about their complaint publicly in a way everybody could see...

"However, I was persuaded by an alternative argument — if we didn't stream it, how would everybody find out what had been happening?

"Every single victim of press abuse was a volunteer. It was explained what would have to happen and each one of them voluntarily came forward, provided statements and gave evidence. I'm pleased to pay tribute to that courage."

KU's Professor of Journalism Brian Cathcart, who played a leading role in the creation of the new archive, echoed the important function the archive would play as he led a discussion on the future of the media industry with journalist Liz Gerard, who writes for the New European, BBC presenter Nomia Iqbal and Hardeep Matharu of Byline Times, before taking questions from the floor.

Mr Cathcart said: "There is no better resource for understanding how journalists and newspaper editors think and function — the archive contains a wealth of information about how the media works that simply cannot be found anywhere else.

"Sir Brian said that, essentially, the Discover Leveson project fitted with his view of what the inquiry should be — fulfilling that ambition to be as transparent as possible by making all the materials available in an accessible and useable format that breathes new life into the inquiry for the next generation."

The KU Discover Leveson project free to access at: