Campaigners welcome agreement on press regulation
Media reform campaigners yesterday backed a cross-party deal on industry regulation claiming it would protect press freedom as well as victims of newspaper intrusion.
Hacked Off said using a royal charter to back a new watchdog was the “second best” option but added it believes the regulator will be “genuinely independent” under the agreement.
Director Brian Cathcart said the measures included an essential statute to prevent ministers interfering in the system at a later stage.
At a press conference in central London, he said: “The Royal Charter that they have accepted will introduce a new system that will protect the freedom of the press and, at the same time, protect the public from the kinds of abuses that made the Leveson inquiry necessary.”
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“We believe a charter is second best but we believe that this charter, endorsed by the three leading parties today, can effectively deliver his (Leveson’s) proposals on self-regulation.”
Hacked Off member Jacqui Hames said: “The most important thing for me is that the regulator has to have some teeth.”
Fellow member Mike Hollingsworth said he did not feel the proposals would harm press freedom.
He said: “You will not see anything in these proposals which will affect the freedom of the press. It may stop jackal journalism – but that may be a very good thing.”