UK press inquiry: Self-regulation receives support from Ofcom

The UK broadcasting industry got support this week from the country’s radio and TV regulator, Ofcom, MediaGuardian reported Wednesday.

Properly constituted, effective and independent self-regulation could be the basis of a new model of press regulation,” Ofcom stated in a paper written to Lord Justice Brian Leveson, who had asked how the press could be regulated “in a way which preserves their independence and the rights of free expression.”

However, for such self-regulation to work, “certain elements of the new regime, such as rules governing membership, may need to be recognised by a statute,” the MediaGuardian report stated, explaining the paper.

British Prime Minister David Cameron set up the inquiry last summer, due to the News of the World phone hacking scandal that rocked the UK and eventually spread to the United States. Justice Leveson is in charge of finding out how the current regulations failed and proposing new rules, which could end up limiting press freedom in the country, Bloomberg Businessweek explained Nov. 14, which then inquiry began.

Graham Shear, a lawyer for celebrity victims whose own phone was also hacked, told Bloomberg Businessweek that he thinks illegal tactics by reporters at News of the World went unchecked partly because the Press Complaints Commission didn’t have the power to investigate misconduct.
However, statutory regulations are seen as a hazard to press freedom and democracy by media professionals, Lord Patten, chairman of the BBC Trust, told The Telegraph. The best way forward is for self-regulation to continue, he said.
“Statutory regulation of the press would, in my view, be more than wrong-headed. It would pose a real danger to the public discourse that underpins our democracy. So the responsibility to ensure high standards of professionalism rests with journalists, their editors and their proprietors.” he said
This entry was posted in Government, press freedom, Regulations, Rupert Murdoch. Bookmark the permalink.

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