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

The point I was simply making is it -- I mean, it just beggars belief that we now know that illegal activities appear to be taking place on an almost industrial scale and the basic mechanisms of internal accountability and internal scrutiny, namely the corporate governance of the individual newspapers and the press groups concerned, just didn't pick that up. Or maybe did pick it up and did nothing about it. I don't know. That just seems to me to be in a sense stating the obvious, that is a failure of corporate governance on quite a significant scale.

Elsewhere in my written evidence, I suggest that if a journalist feels they need to do things which are intrusive and unusual in order to pursue a story which is self-evidently in the public interest, I don't think we should be squeamish about that. I think it's right that journalists and investigative journalists will use methods to really get to the truth which is actively being hidden by others. If truth is being hidden by others, then you have to get out a spade and shovel to get to it, and I think we should never prevent journalists from doing that. But I think the means in which they do that should be clearly understood by those who oversee their work in the newsroom and in the newspaper, and that is an issue of corporate governance.

Again, this is a challenge for the press rather than something for us to try and micromanage from outside the newsroom, but I would have thought that when journalists take those steps, they shouldn't just be operating solo in the shadows. There should be some basic arrangements by which people are aware of what they're doing and that the chain of command, if you like, understand that it's being done for the right reasons.

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