OPINION: concerns over press freedom


picture howstuffworks.com

So the day has come- we journalists are going to be regulated.

It was reported today that the three main political parties have come to an agreement on a new independent press regulation regime set up by royal charter.

The deal comes after Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into how press stories are gathered. The inquiry found that some journalists had hacked thousands of phones.

Newspapers, magazines, or websites containing news-related material are defined as publishers by the charter.

However there is some confusion how the regulation plans would impose on the rest of the Internet such as blogs.

The Leveson Report that came out at the end of last year proposed the creation of an independent regulator backed by legislation which would designed to test its working efficiency.

Christopher Jeffries who was wrongly ‘monstered’ by some media in the Johanna Yates murder investigation agreed with the regulation and said that the new system would ensure that press would be apologetic to victims, fines of up to £1m, a self-regulator body with independent appointments and funding, a strong standards code, free arbitration service for victims and a fast complaints system.

I am all for press regulation however I am worried that we are underpinned by law, because then there will be no freedom of the press, something we have experience around 300 years of.

Although it was said in the Commons that the royal charter will merely oversee the new regulator and it will not be underpinned in law.

This eases my worries as both victims and publishers have been met in the middle, nothing too drastic like underpinning law, but something, as a sort of controller. However if it will be underpinned by royal charter how can the press hold politicians to account?

To be truthfully honest, freedom of the press is a right, but I think some have spoiled that for the rest. Like school kids I the playground, some took it too far and spoiled the game for everyone. Now we all pay for others foolish decisions on how to gather stories.

In a BBC article they reported that when announcing the draft royal charter, Mr Cameron told MPs: “What happened to the Dowlers, to the McCanns, to Christopher Jeffries and to many other innocent people who’ve never sought the limelight was utterly despicable.

“It is right that we put in place a new system of press regulation to ensure such appalling acts can never happen again. We should do this without any further delay.”



About hparr247

Glasgow Caledonian University journalism student who has studied at Stony Brook University in New York. Curious and amazed about the world, what it is up to, and its people.
This entry was posted in Current Affairs, Internet, Journalism, Law, Opinion, Politics, The Changing Media and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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