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

This comes back to what George was saying before, about having in place a mechanism which is going to encourage that kind of integrity within the newsroom. Again I go back to television as the obvious analogy. There are clear practices not just within the BBC but within commercial television as well, but there are two separate stages.

The first is if you are going to do something which is going to involve any potential breach of ethical procedures, you first seek permission. Depending on the nature of that breach, if for example it might involve breaking the law, it goes right up to the very top, to the editorial standards director or whatever.

And then there is a separate thing. Once you've got permission, you've gathered the information having got their permission, there is a separate procedure for transmission. So there are two separate points at which you are seeking advice and talking about the nature of the journalism that you're doing, and if the second permission is given, then the broadcast goes ahead using the material that you gathered following the first permission.

It seems to me that it's that kind of audit trail which could easily be supplanted into newspaper newsrooms to demonstrate that there's been serious consideration according to a proper set of codes and the decision was reached that this was a proportional breach of normal codes.

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