The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

  • MR DANIEL JOHN WILLIAM WOOTTON (sworn).

  • Your full name, please?

  • Daniel John William Wootton.

  • Thank you very much. You've provided a written statement to the Inquiry, the first page number of which is O2616. The version I have is not signed and dated, but subject to one correction, is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry?

  • The correction you wish to make is to paragraph 10.1. You've sent in some revised wording which you wish to adopt.

  • If it's not in the version which is on screen in due course, we will address it specifically.

    You were going to give evidence in December, along with other News of the World witnesses, if I can so describe it, but to suit your then availability, we've put you back to this point, so people understand why you're giving evidence now.

    You were employed, I think, by the News of the World between February 2007 and its closure in July 2011; is that correct?

  • Can I deal with your background first of all. You tell us in your statement you were born and raised in New Zealand and you studied at Victoria University, Wellington. You then started a career in journalism. You worked for a national broadsheet in New Zealand and then a television station, but you moved to the United Kingdom in December 2004, where, after working in various ways and capacities, you joined the News of the World in February 2007; is that correct?

  • Can I just deal with your career in New Zealand to this extent: is there a difference in culture between New Zealand and the United Kingdom, speaking very generally?

  • Well, the set-up of the newspaper world and the media in New Zealand is very different. I guess it's a more American-style newspaper market. So every main regional centre has one main broadsheet newspaper and there's no real tabloid culture.

  • Thank you. When you joined the News of the World, were you given any assurances about phone hacking and related matters?

  • Yes. I mean, when I joined, obviously it was after the -- after Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire had gone to jail but yes, I mean, myself and the rest of the staff were obviously assured that that was an individual case, but I think -- I guess the main thing that was most important for me is that when I started, it was made absolutely clear that that sort of behaviour would not be tolerated in any way under Colin Myler.

  • Thank you. In paragraph 1.3 of your statement, 02617, you explain that initially your line manager was a Mr Stenson, who was head of features. You were promoted to TV editor in November 2007. You became showbiz editor in September 2008, and that was, as it were, your role over the next nearly three years or so. Were you an editor or were you really a reporter? Can you explain how it operated?

  • I think the showbiz editor and the showbiz columnist has a dual role, because you do edit your showbiz column, which is a double-page spread in every week's newspaper, but then you are also effectively a reporter on other showbiz-related stories which run elsewhere in the newspaper. So I was an editor in the sense that I edited my showbiz column.

  • Were you provided with a copy of the PCC code of practice?

  • Yes. I mean, in fact, on my first day when I joined the paper, by coincidence it was the first PCC seminar that was held on a regular basis at the News of the World from 2007 onwards, and we were all given pocket-sized versions of the PCC code so that we could carry them in our wallets and that's what I did at all times.

  • Thank you. In paragraph 2.4, you explain, the second line, 02618:

    "Usually before my articles were published, they would be read at a minimum by Mr Stenson, the managing editor, the editor, deputy editors, some associate and assistant editors and the legal department, headed by Mr Crone."

    Did that happen every time or only if there was arguably something controversial or unusual in a particular piece?

  • Every story, even the most trivial of stories, would be read by at least four people, I would say.

  • Thank you. Was it common for there to be feedback from them, testing the substance of what you were saying, or was that rare?

  • I'd say it was -- on any -- not necessarily on stories in my column, because they were usually pretty confident in my judgment when it came to my column, but I think on stories outside the column that were perhaps more controversial, then yes.

  • Could you explain, please, the relationship between you and the other desks. We know that there was a features desk --

  • -- which the substance of what you were writing overlapped to some extent, a pictures desk, the news desk and the sports desk, which was probably of less interest to you. What was the relationship between you and the features desk, in particular?

  • As showbiz editor, I was working within the features desk, so a very close relationship. I sat within the features desk and was part of the features department.

  • Were you, in any sense, in competition with the features department?

  • Were you in competition, did you feel, with the Sun newspaper?

  • Was there, in your opinion, a bullying culture within the News of the World when you were there?

  • Could you elaborate on that? You say "no". Why do you say "no" with confidence?

  • It was never my experience. I mean, I guess the one thing that maybe I would point out is that the individual desks on the News of the World very much ran as separate entities, so because I worked under the features desk, for example, I would have virtually no contact with the news desk, for example. So I can only talk, really, in terms of what I saw on a day-to-day basis about the features desk.

  • Thank you. The Inquiry has received quite a lot of evidence in relation to the news desk. It may be that there were particular features or attributes of that department. Is there anything you can say about the news desk which might assist the Inquiry?

  • No. As I say, as showbiz editor working under the features desk, I had very, very minimal contact with the news desk. Probably the head of news I would have spoken to twice in my four years at the paper.

  • Thank you. You deal with editorial conferences in paragraph 6.6. There's been already quite a lot of evidence to the Inquiry about that. You point out -- this is really at page 02621, six or seven lines down:

    "It was common for the stories featured at the top of each list not to be discussed, as they were usually the most confidential. The competition at the paper was such that even amongst the heads of departments confidential stories or secret squirrel stories were not revealed for fear of a leak."

  • That would suggest that there was a lack of trust within the News of the World, that matters might be leaked either into the public domain or perhaps be leaked to a rival newspaper. Was that the fear?

  • I think on Sunday newspapers in particular, there is always that fear, because if you get a big scoop on a Tuesday, for example, you have to keep that story exclusive for five days, which is a very long time, especially in this day and age with Twitter and the Internet as well as rival newspapers, obviously. So I would say probably, yes, the News of the World was particularly conscious of the fact that stories could be leaked and had been leaked in the past to rivals.

  • The secret squirrel stories, what do you mean by that?

  • That was just a secret story because of the fact that it could be leaked, so usually they were one-fact stories. So in my realm it could be celebrity A splits from celebrity B. So a one-fact story that if it was leaked, it could very easily be run by another newspaper, so those stories would be kept between a very small group of maybe five executives.

  • At these conferences, was there discussion around the issue of the use of subterfuge in relation to any of these stories?

  • No. I think if there was a story where subterfuge might come up, that would be discussed in a smaller group. The conference was very much just to run through the main points of the story.

  • Were you party to discussions about stories which had been obtained by using subterfuge? I'm not talking about phone hacking now; I'm talking about subterfuge more generally, if you follow me.

  • No, because none of my stories used those methods, so no.

  • You make it clear that a significant proportion of your stories were obtained, really, from the celebrities themselves. This is paragraph 6.9.

  • About what proportion, would you say?

  • Say it's about half and half, probably.

  • Was there any sense, in your mind, that you were colluding with the celebrity to put out a particular PR version which would be palatable to them, in the sense that it would advance their career or their commercial interests?

  • No. I mean, I obviously did a lot of the mainly on-the-record interviews at the newspaper. So I think, yes, if you're doing an interview with a celebrity, quite often it's timed around a movie release, the release of a new single, an album. That is the way the industry works. But I think I was always very conscious not to become a stooge to celebrities, and in terms of my relationships, what was that -- that was about having the relationship of trust, where they knew that you would treat them fairly but it didn't mean that you would only ever write positive content.

    But at the same time, I was showbiz editor at a time, as I'm sure you can imagine, when the News of the World had a lot of rebuilding of trust to do, not only with its readers and the wider public but also with celebrities, so one of my jobs was to make sure that celebrities felt confident and happy to give interviews to the News of the World, or potentially give stories to the News of the World.

    So, for example, you know, there may have been an instance -- well, there was an instance when one celebrity had very sadly had a miscarriage, and that had happened on the Friday and she made the decision that the best way to get this news out to the public was to do it through the News of the World, and that was her choice and that was something that obviously she had to place a lot of trust in the News of the World to be able to do that. So it could be those sorts of relationships, and I don't think anyone would say working together on a story like that was being a stooge to celebrities or colluding with them.

  • In one sense, though, you were walking a bit of a tightrope, because there would be an interest in the celebrity in using your services and there would be an interest on your part in maintaining the trust of the celebrity, but if the adverse story which you subsequently write without the knowledge and backing of the celebrity is too acerbic or too probing or too pejorative, you might lose out on further interviews. How did you play this careful balance?

  • It's definitely walking a tightrope, definitely. I think usually it relies on trust from both sides, but I don't think celebrities would say that they necessarily got an easy ride from me, but I think they would say that I dealt with them fairly and honestly and gave them a chance for a right of reply on a sensitive story. So I think because the News of the World was coming from a position of weakness, it felt like that was really important.

  • You say in paragraph 6.10 -- you're dealing here with a situation where the source of the story is not the celebrity himself or herself. You say:

    "I had a strict policy that however good the information was, I would never run the article without first receiving independent confirmation, from a reliable contact, that the facts set out were true."

    So the reliable contact, is this someone usually who was chose to the celebrity?

  • Usually. It could well be their PR or their agent in that case.

  • Did you ever run stories without notifying either the celebrity or his or her agent?

  • Not often. I mean, there were certain stories that were out there in the public domain already, so it wouldn't have been necessary to put a call in, and I would say during my time at the paper there was literally a handful of stories when it would have been requested by the editor or a senior executive at the newspaper not to put a call in.

  • You say in your statement that issues of weighing up private interest against the public interest were not really for you but were for editors or subeditors.

  • Not subeditors. I mean, it would be the decision of the editor in the end whether a story was in the public interest or not. So I might be involved in those discussions and have an opinion, but in the end it would be their decision whether to publish or not.

  • That was really what I was going to ask you. Were there ever situations, though, where your opinion was overruled?

  • Probably, I would say. But no examples that I can think of.

  • Did it often happen that your opinion was overruled?

  • Can you think of examples where you might have wanted to check out with a celebrity and you were told not to?

  • I can think of one, yeah.

  • Without necessarily naming the celebrity, what was the situation there? Can you give us some general evidence about it?

  • Yeah, the situation there was it was actually a professional story. It was about whether a celebrity was going to take a certain job or not, and one of the more senior executives at the newspaper were very confident in their sourcing of the story. My gut feeling was that we should check it, and they decided not to and requested me not to.

  • So they published anyway?

  • Perhaps what happened doesn't matter so much.

  • But what's the point here? That the story will be given to somebody else? It's unlikely to be a story that would be injuncted. What was the problem?

  • In that particular case or do you mean in general?

  • I actually want to know generally. Pursue that case, if you like, but I'm keen to know generally.

  • I think in general, the point that I'm making is that as a reporter at the newspaper in any way, it's not 100 per cent your decision whether to give a right of reply or not. So especially when I was a more junior reporter, the decision about whether a right of reply would be made or not would usually be taken by someone more senior than me, but when I did become the showbiz editor, that would be my decision. But yes, I mean, it usually was because of the risk of a story being leaked.

  • Even if the discussion to check the story was with the individual concerned, the target of the story?

  • Yeah, because, I mean, I can think of so many examples -- I mean, quite recently a celebrity who I knew -- I mean, it was a very positive story. I knew they'd become engaged to their long-term partner but this was a well-known celebrity, it was a big story for us, so I put a call in on the Saturday morning to that celebrity's PR. The PR made the decision -- wrongly, I believed -- that it was a story that all the Sunday newspapers should cover, so fed out that information to the showbiz editors on all of my rival newspapers and it ended up going on the front page of one.

    What you have to remember is that there is a need to protect exclusives, so even though I was a big believer in a right of reply, all I'm saying is that on a small number of casings, a decision would be taken above me -- for commercial reasons, usually -- that it wasn't the right decision to give a right of reply, because there was a risk -- because in a case like that, we'd worked very hard to get that story and there was no benefit of us having the exclusive.

  • The example you've given is a positive story.

  • If you've got it wrong and the couple were not getting engaged, there would obviously be some embarrassment all round but the harm would not be massive.

  • What about if the story's a negative story? Was the policy different, do you think?

  • Yes. I mean, a right of reply would only not be given if the newspaper or the editor was 100 per cent certain on the truth of a story. Well, at least in my experience, in stories that related to me.

  • Was there any discrimination then between whether the story was positive or negative in terms of giving any right of reply?

  • Yeah. I think if the story was a positive story, there would be a feeling that there may be less need to give a right of reply. However, in saying that, I would have given a right of reply on 99 per cent of my stories. That was my policy to do so.

  • Thank you. When stories came to you, as you say in paragraph 6.10, from a professional freelancer -- you mean, presumably, a fellow journalist who was flying the story and probably trying to sell it around the different newspapers; is that correct?

  • Was there an inquiry which you systematically made as to how that individual obtained the story?

  • On a case-by-case basis, yes.

  • So what were the factors which might or might not have caused you to make that inquiry?

  • I think if it was, for example, a story about -- let's just say a celebrity's wedding, where they had information from inside the wedding. Then I would make sure that I knew that that information, for example, hadn't come from them sneaking into the wedding or entering private property or using a hidden camera or anything like that. I would make sure that it had come -- that it had come through valid sources.

  • I see. The methods that your evidence is relating to, the standards that you applied, were they standards that the you saw others applying or do you think you were applying a higher standard of probity?

  • No. On the whole, I think those were the standards that I saw, but I think because I -- one of my big roles at the newspaper was managing relationships of key showbiz figures, I think perhaps at times I would probably take a more cautious approach, especially in terms of things like a right of reply.

  • Thank you. Can I move on, please, to paragraph 7 of your statement, and just ask you to explain two subparagraphs. We're now on page 02623. Paragraph 7.3.3:

    "Editor would sometimes merge two stories together, crediting two journalists in the byline."

    We've seen examples of that in other newspapers. That, presumably, is standard practice, is it?

  • I wasn't so sure about 7.3.4:

    "Where a desk head wrote a story, it was convention that the article would appear under another reporter's name. However, in such circumstances, it could be that the first you knew of the article appearing under your name would be when you opened the paper and read it on a Sunday morning."

    Was that standard practice elsewhere or was it particular to the News of the World?

  • My understanding would be that that was standard practice. I mean, I would say that happened hardly at all, but every now and then, if there was a particular story that had only been worked on by a desk head, and it was almost seen as -- it was always seen as a positive thing if you were the reporter that was gifted the byline, but there could be certain occasions when you hadn't seen the story. But I would say -- I mean, I think it only happened to me once in my very early days as a junior reporter.

  • It might be said to give rise to ethical issues if a journalist who is, as it were, falsely attributed with the byline is unhappy with the tone or content of the story. Would you accept that?

  • Potentially, but I do think there are certain tabloid conventions, because, for example, my showbiz column ran 52 weeks of the year with my name on it. Now, obviously I didn't work 52 weeks of a year. So I think there are certain accepted tabloid conventions.

  • Okay. Paragraph 10, please, now, Mr Wootton. You've amended paragraph 10.1. This is page 02624. I don't know whether we have the amended version available. Is that in front of you or do you have the old one?

  • On the screen, can you see which one it is?

  • It's the old one on the screen.

  • So we'll read out the substituted wording. You crossed out "none" and you've said:

    "There was no specific financial incentive for me to print exclusive stories as showbiz editor because I did not receive bonuses, for example, for front-page stories. My performance appraisal and my remuneration was judged on a number of factors, including breaking exclusive stories, my relationships with key showbiz industry figures and my adherence to the law and PCC code."

    Can I just ask you about the last point. How was that factor addressed in your performance appraisal, namely adherence to the law and PCC code?

  • It was spelled out. So there were a number of subgroups that you were judged on in your performance appraisal, and that was one of them.

  • Is this right: if there were PCC complaints which related to you, that would be a factor which might cause you to be marked down on your appraisal?

  • And you tell us in your statement that at no point have you had any PCC complaints?

  • While I was showbiz editor, yes.

  • That's paragraph 18.7. So to be clear, there were complaints but no upheld complaints?

  • What do you mean by "upheld complaints"? Upheld in the sense of an adjudication or upheld in the sense of a ruling?

  • An adjudication. But actually, I think when I was showbiz editor and columnist, which was my last three years, I don't believe there were any complaints to the PCC about my work.

  • So from the period September 2008 to July 2011, there were no complaints at all?

  • So for the period, I think, February 2007 to September 2008, is this your evidence: there were complaints but no upheld adjudications?

  • Fair enough. How many complaints?

  • I think there was one complaint about an interview.

  • You did receive an award, I think, the British Press Award, in 2010 for Showbiz Reporter of the Year; is that correct?

  • One of the bases of that award were your exclusive pieces in relation to the death of Mr Gately. That was just one of the matters, I think.

  • You tell us about that a little bit more in 18.5, how you held off printing or publishing, rather, information until you felt it was appropriate to do so.

  • Can I ask you a little bit more about public interest issues. This is 18.1 of your statement. You've touched on this already. When there were discussions to which you were party about weighing up the public interest and private rights, what sort of factors were put on in the balance either side of the equation? Can you assist us?

  • I think -- I mean, I guess the first thing to say is that everything to do with public interest was discussed on a case-by-case basis. It's not as if we had theoretical discussions about it. It was to do with certain celebrities and certain examples. So it happened not that often, and when it did, I think one of the big factors was who the celebrity involved was.

    So, for example, there was one such case when I revealed that a very high-profile celebrity who was the face of a well-known supermarket company had been taking illegal drugs at her house while her children were at home, and in that case, the reason that we did decide there was a public interest for that story was because of the fact this particular celebrity had been filming a reality TV show inside the house when she had denied various times that she was taking illegal drugs in the house, and she'd also made a lot of money off selling her family and promoting this supermarket brand off the basis of the fact that she had previously been mother of the year. So in that case, we felt that there was a clear public interest for running the story, and we actually ran a series of stories about it, and eventually she was dropped by the supermarket brand and admitted what she had been doing.

    So in that case, for us, there was a clear public interest for running that story.

  • Could you give us an example, perhaps, which went the other way?

  • Just before you do, prior to running that story, was that story run past the celebrity?

  • I don't think -- well, it was a series of stories. I think on some occasions they were and some they weren't.

  • I suppose it's really when it broke, the first time. The follow-ups could be coped with, but --

  • Well, there were a few examples of this. Yes, the first time, yes, that was run past her representatives and she denied it and we still ran it.

  • And an example which went the other way, if you can recall one which might assist us?

  • I mean, there were many, many times when we were told, for example, the celebrity -- well, actually, I can think of one where a celebrity who had not sold any details of her private life was having an -- or her marriage was breaking down because of a relationship she was having with another man, and we made the decision that because she had never ever sold her private life, spoken about it in interviews, that there would be no public interest to reveal that story. So it could go both ways.

  • Thank you. At 18.3, you give an example of a particular story which was overwhelmingly in the public interest. This related to a programme on the BBC. People were invited to phone in using a premium-rate phone-in line but the show had been pre-recorded, so there was absolutely no point in doing that.

  • Of course, these premium-rate lines are very expensive. I think they're at least a pound a minute.

  • If you use a mobile phone, they warn you it's even more, and you've given us the reference for that.

  • Yes. I guess the point I was trying to make is the fact that people often do dismiss showbiz journalism, but there is a lot of showbiz journalism which is in the public interest.

  • I think it was someone from one of your competitors who said the primary purpose of showbiz journalism is entertainment. That's not necessarily to denigrate it, but is that fair?

  • I think there's a big aspect of that, yes, absolutely, and there -- also, my preference was to write about celebrities, to be honest, who wanted to be written about. So it was very rare, for example, for me to ever write about Hugh Grant, because my belief was that my readers of my showbiz column were in the interested in him because he didn't seem to enjoy his job and was pretty miserable, whereas the majority of the people I write about actually love their job. They love the great things that come from being part of showbiz and celebrity and they choose to put themselves out there.

  • Is it because he wasn't enjoying the job or because he didn't enjoy being the subject of newspaper attention?

  • Well, I think you could say -- you could argue it was one and the same, but to me, he didn't seem to be enjoying being a celebrity.

  • Well, that's slightly different yet again. I mean, his job is to make films.

  • Mm-hm. I think his job is also -- I mean, he would always attend red carpet premieres, for example. He would give interviews. So I think it's naive to say that you can be a major celebrity appearing in Hollywood films and never have any other parts of that job. But I would also say there are some actors and actresses who absolutely manage to toe the line. I mean, I was thinking of Helen Worth, for example, who plays Gail Platt in Coronation Street and who has been in that soap for three decades. She's someone who will give the odd interview, but on the whole will never have stories about her private life written about because she has made a choice not to ever to put it out there, she's never behaved illegally -- so I think there are celebrities who make a clear choice at the start of their career not to make themselves public property or a tabloid figure. So I think it is possible to do that.

  • Putting Mr Grant's case to one side, was it your position that those people who were in the public eye because they were film stars, because they were book writers or appeared on television programmes, who had not, as it were, made it absolutely clear that they wanted their private lives kept totally private -- was your position in relation to them: they were appropriately or could appropriately be the subject of pieces in your column? Is that right?

  • It would depend. I mean, it would depend. I definitely believe all celebrities have a right to privacy, and so I think it would depend what the context of the story was, whether their family was involved and that sort of thing.

  • So you would resist any attempt to generalise here; is that right?

  • Well, no, I would say absolutely all celebrities have a right to privacy, and I think there are particular areas where that's made particularly clear. I mean, it's been discussed a lot here, but obviously in terms of sexuality, pregnancies, health issues, things that involve their children or family members. I mean, absolutely, there was a key framework where we would work, but -- that we would work to, but the point that I'm making is actually -- you made the point that is showbiz journalism entertainment, and I'm saying that yes, the majority of the celebrities that I would write about were more than happy to be covered because they accepted it was part of the job and they loved their job.

  • How often did it come about that a celebrity or his or her PR agent came back to you after you published a story, saying words to this effect: "We're not going to complain about it to the PCC or whoever, but frankly we were disappointed by this story, or it was an intrusion of privacy"? Did that ever happen or not?

  • Never that it was an intrusion of privacy but there were definitely discussions that would take place sometimes after a story was written. I would be -- it would be completely naive for me to say that every story I ever wrote, the celebrity was absolutely delighted about it, but the whole point of having the open discussion and the dialogue with their representatives was so that we could find -- so that there was that communication and we could find ways to try and work around any issues where they may have been unhappy. But I would say those conversations were rare.

    But the point was that people did know that they could talk to me, and I think that's really important.

  • So the ambit of these discussions was not about intrusion into privacy, you've told us. Was it ever about inaccuracy?

  • No, because I would always give a right to reply on my stories.

  • You, I think, are now working for the Daily Mail?

  • Among other things, yes.

  • You're not on their staff, as it were?

  • You have a contract with them and I think you have a contract with a magazine and also a television programme?

  • You have been following the evidence adduced to this Inquiry in relation to Mr Grant, in particular his child?

  • Would that have been a matter which you feel should ethically have been pursued or not, that particular story?

  • Well, I think not, unless he was -- I think my belief is what happened is that no newspapers in this country did run that story because it was not confirmed by his public representatives. As a showbiz editor, though, I was very concerned and disappointed when I heard one aspect of Mr Grant's evidence, though, which was that his publicists, who are in America, have a policy not to respond to any British -- well, I don't know if they said tabloid newspapers or newspapers in general, because I can tell you that one of the biggest frustrations as a showbiz editor is when you're attempting to give a right of reply to a celebrity and you're getting a brick wall put up, because the whole point is no one wants to publish an inaccurate story. But I do believe a right of reply should go both ways, because again, in that case, Mr Grant's representatives ended up confirming the story to an American magazine, who then published it, and I think it's a question: was that fair? Because actually, if a newspaper is giving you the courtesy of a right of reply, why should there be a blanket decision never to respond? I definitely think it needs to be a two-way street.

  • I think it's implicit in what you're saying that the subject matter of the story, namely Hugh Grant's child, was an appropriate subject matter, as it were. Your complaint is directed to Mr Grant, not the story; is that right?

  • I think it's appropriate to ask him about it, and my belief is that that's all any British newspaper did.

  • What about going to the lady's home?

  • That wouldn't be a tactic that I would use. But I do think it's fair to ask someone -- that was the tactic that I would use: to ask someone's PR or agent in a formal capacity.

  • So it would be appropriate, then, to write a story which was limited to him being the father of a child but you wouldn't want to go further than that by going to the lady's home and everything else we've heard about? Is that your evidence?

  • I'm saying that if Mr Grant had confirmed that, which he did, yes.

  • That, Mr Wootton, covers the ground I wished to raise. I've had no lines of inquiry suggested to me by others in your case, but there may or may not be some --

  • Well, there is one. You've said that the press in New Zealand is differently organised and there isn't a tabloid culture.

  • But how do the New Zealand press deal with issues such at privacy?

  • It's self-regulation. So there's a code similar to a PCC code.

  • I won't ask whether they have borrowed our code or we've borrowed theirs. Who is responsible for breaches of that code?

  • Again -- in terms of at the newspaper? So it would be the editor.

  • No, no, no, in terms of the regulatory model.

  • Oh, again it's self-regulation, but it's an independent body, so there's no state involvement in it.

  • Not the editors of the newspapers, as far as I believe.

  • Am I right in understanding that actually they're going through some thinking at the moment also about what should be happening?

  • Yeah. I mean, the main difference in New Zealand is that when this body upholds a complaint against a newspaper, the newspaper has to publish their findings in full, so actually in the newspaper, the wording of this body. So they don't use their own wording.

  • I see. But you say that the self-regulator doesn't consist of editors; it's independent people?

  • Right, well, I'm sure we can find out. Thank you very much indeed, Mr Wootton.

  • Would it be convenient to have our short break?

  • (A short break)

  • Good morning, sir. Our next witness is Mr Owens.