The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.
Well, they are there to ensure that the editor has complete independence over his recruitment policy, promotion policy and, above all then, what is put in the paper week after week. And the editor can go to the trustees on any point if he felt that there was some undue ...
Well, in our case the answer is that's not our job, and I think it's quite important that we stick to what we were asked to do by the Secretary of State and I don't think anybody would welcome it if we were to extend or hope ...
And that is ever thus, I'm afraid.
Well, I think all editorial budgets are under some pressure, at the same time as the world is becoming a more interesting and complicated place, and if you asked any editor what their ideal configuration of their editorial staff and particularly of their overseas offices would be, they would probably ...
Yes. To that extent, of course, it's not a model, but the idea of trustees for particular titles, the sort that exist at the Guardian, at the Economist, I think that that could well be a model.
No, they haven't. But we ask them the question from time to time to make quite sure that on particular issues and more generally there is any sense in which they feel subjected to pressure, and that is a very important part of what we're trying to do.
It wasn't our expectation, but I should also perhaps add a more personal note here. I was editor of the Economist. The Economist has a system of trustees whose role is not dissimilar to that of the national directors of the Times and the Sunday Times, and in the ...
It was put to us -- I mean, we heard about the proposed appointment from Les Hinton, who at the time was the chief executive of News International.
The specific powers, responsibilities, that we were allocated in 1981 highlight the approval of any candidate for the editorship. So we have had one instance since I've been a director, in the case of the Times, where the editor was leaving to go to New York and a new ...
That's correct. The circumstances at the time were very much focused on editorial protection. The public view -- certainly the political view as expressed in the debate in the House of Commons -- was that if Rupert Murdoch got control of these two very important titles, there was a risk that ...
Thank you. I should emphasise this isn't my statement so much as on behalf of all of us.
Rupert Lascelles Pennant-Rea.
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