User Guide

Welcome to Discover Leveson, a new, fully searchable and freshly curated online public archive, ensuring that any reader can now tap in to the wealth of evidence generated by the Leveson Inquiry, the most comprehensive modern resource of information on journalism and its role in society in the English-speaking world.

For the first time, Discover Leveson allows users to explore the Inquiry’s extensive archive with ease, using state-of-the-art search facilities developed by our partner organisation SDS Group, the leaders in the field of digital archival search functionality.

In addition, Discover Leveson provides a wealth of newly written contextual and explanatory material, including more than 600 new biographies and dozens of new essays exploring the Inquiry’s key themes and topics.

What does the archive include?

The Discover Leveson archive consists of material from 198 public sessions including more than 500 hours of video footage, 8,000 unique documents (ranging from 1 to 500+ pages), more than 20,000 pages of transcripts, statements and supporting documents from more than 600 individuals and organisations, a 2,000-page final Report, a 48-page Executive Summary and a wide range of other key documents related to briefing sessions, seminars, anonymous witnesses and protocol.

The archive includes a very wide range of views from both inside the world of journalism and outside it – including those of prime ministers and other politicians, proprietors, editors, journalists, celebrities, judges, the police and victims of wrongdoing – and these are presented as they were given. The archive itself has no opinions and every effort has been made to guide users through the material in an impartial manner.

What does the new contextual and explanatory material include?

The most important inquiry of its kind in British history, the Leveson Inquiry sought to understand the role of journalism in modern society – a mission that is as important today as when Lord Justice Leveson published his Report on 29 November 2012.

In order to explain and communicate the continuing relevance of the Inquiry’s work to a new generation of readers, Discover Leveson has commissioned a wealth of exclusive contextual material, including:

  • More than 600 newly written biographies of individuals and organisations
  • Dozens of new essays highlighting key themes and topics
  • A wide range of explanatory material, from ‘FAQs’ to ’Things You Didn’t Know’

All new material has been produced under the supervision of Professor Brian Cathcart, the project sponsor and founder the Journalism Department at Kingston University, one of the highest-rated in the UK. Brian was also a specialist advisor to the Commons media select committee, co-founded the Hacked Off campaign and twice gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry.

How does the site’s search function work?

With specialist search functionality designed by our partner organisation SDS Group, Discover Leveson allows users for the first time to search the Inquiry archives in three ways:

  • Standard search: This style of search will be familiar to users of traditional search engines, and retrieves results based on keywords entered into the search field. These results are then ranked in order of decreasing relevance – so that, for example, if you enter the keywords “Lord Justice Leveson”, you will be presented first with results that contain all three words, followed by results that contain two of these words, and finally by results containing just one of these words. By clicking on the tick boxes below the main search bar, you can also adjust your search to provide results based on “Exact Phrase”, “Any Word” or “All Words”.
  • Advanced search: You can narrow the focus of your search by clicking on the “Advanced Search” button at the right-hand side of the main search bar. This additional functionality allows you to filter your keyword search to return results relating only to certain types of evidence or categories of witness, or to home in on individual witnesses or hearings, or to target specific references in Lord Justice Leveson’s final Report.
  • Boolean search: With such a vast amount of material available, it may be useful to narrow down your search options even further by using Discover Leveson’s Boolean Line-By-Line Selector. This search functionality uses Boolean logic to combine keywords with modifiers such as “AND”, “NOT” and “OR” in order to differentiate between large numbers of results. An example of a Boolean search might be "paparazzi" AND "Princess Diana", which would limit search results to documents containing both keywords.


Understand all the key topics and the context behind the Inquiry's findings

Journalism & society
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Future of journalism
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Background & history
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Subsequent developments
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Ethics & abuses
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