We Must Have Independent And Legally Binding Regulation Of the Press
The Editors’ Code, a transparent complaints process and investigative powers all backed with the force of law is what we need. The idea that this would be state control of the press is a fallacy but one that the newspaper barons, with their huge vested interests, massive resources and influence are pressing as hard as they can.
‘Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring but the sacred freedom of the press!’
They’re trying to stitch us up with scare stories. Pretending that some great principle is being infringed. Now, where have I heard that before? Oh yes, the press.
Who’s to say that we don’t already have state control of the press? In extremis, the government would step in and impose any rules it wished. Then, idiots like Fraser Nelson of The Spectator would be two a penny and they could rot in jail.
Real life is not in extremis. It is in state of constant compromise. We need to establish rules by which the press and all media must abide. Compassion, respect and accuracy should be our principles but the idea that newspaper editors should regulate themselves is codswallop.
Broadcasters are required to provide balance, the press is not. That is a privilege that must be balanced by a responsibility
“not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information”
These are the exact words of the existing Editors’ Code. All we need to do is give them the force of law. If we can make the press take responsibility it will be to the great benefit of society.
My Lord Leveson, I submit.