The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.
Thank you very much.
I would encourage you to listen very carefully to what people are saying and take into consideration their views and you're far more intelligent than I am, so I know you're going to come up with something very good.
Not really, no. As I said, I think self-regulation can work, and I think this is a positive start to it.
Pretty much, as I said, pretty much with what we discussed with Lord Hunt I think is there are a lot of positive suggestions in there. I could go through them, but I'm sure --
Oh, gosh. I think self-regulation can work. I think it's a dangerous area when you have editors on a self-regulatory panel, because people have agendas. But, yes, I'm in favour of self-regulation and I think it's something that we do need to think long and hard about.
It was a decision I -- I -- I agreed with the board's decision to withdraw from the PCC. I did feel that it had sort of lost its way somewhat, and with hindsight I think that has proved to be the case. But I really do believe there is a ...
Yes, they did.
Yes, of course.
There's a very obvious answer to that: obviously to stay in business. It's a very difficult time, as I said. The competition from the Internet is huge, it's a problem all newspapers will face, but the vision going forward is to be successful, to basically move on ...
I hope we produce, on balance, a fair, accurate, entertaining newspaper that the readers enjoy.
As editor of the Daily Star? I -- in reference to the Daily Star itself, I have tried to make it more acceptable to both sexes. It was a very laddie paper. I've tried to make it more acceptable to both sexes. I've tried obviously to grow the circulation ...
Well, obviously after this morning there's a lot of work to be done. As you say, systems can always be improved and that's something we will work on as a newspaper. My vision for the newspaper as a whole is it's a very difficult time for the ...
Yes. Obviously big stories are big stories, yes.
I'm not sure that it did increase sales. I can't remember the sales figures. We ran the story because it was huge, it was the only story of the day. Nobody else was talking about anything else wherever you went. You went to the supermarket, people talked about ...
With hindsight, I -- as I say, I am deeply sorry for the upset we caused. At the time, I honestly don't recall what my thought process was. It was a story that was a huge story, it was the only story everybody was talking about whenever you went, and ...
Yes, and I --
It was a risk, and, you know, to this day I regret -- I regret what happened in the McCann case, and I can only repeat the apology we published on page 1, very happily published on page 1, to the McCanns for the hurt and the distress we caused them.
Yes, there was a risk, yes.
It was very hard to check sources, yes.
Yeah. The source of the stories was the Portuguese police and press.
From memory, we were -- the source of the stories was entirely coming from Portugal. We had one reporter out in Portugal covering the story and we were being fed stories by the Portuguese police and press.
Not necessarily all, no.
It depends on what headline we're talking about on what day.
I would have done, yes.
Yes, I did.
Not necessarily, no. I mean, if there's a story, it's a good story, no matter what paper or magazine it's in, you know, we will consider using it.
I don't see a problem with that, no.
It depends on where the story is seen and what readership crossover there is, yes.
It's the job of a journalist to read every newspaper every day.
The Daily Mail is obviously a market leader, a very good newspaper, has a very good website, but we don't just lift stories from their website and put it in the paper without at least checking.
I think all titles pick up stories from other newspapers and magazines, yes.
Very bad company. It was not -- it was a bad mistake. I mean newspapers, all newspapers, make mistakes.
I know, I know. I appreciate that.
Because it was New Year's Eve, I think most editors would have been away and it would have been duty editors that were taking part in that, yes.
It would have been --
Well, it's an ongoing process. We just on a daily basis make sure these things do not happen. To the best of our ability. We were in good company, and most newspapers did that story very badly. It wasn't a good time.
On both counts, on both counts.
They weren't cuddly. I was annoyed. I mean, it shouldn't happen.
And it would have been the person duty editing the paper on the day, yes.
I discussed it with the people concerned.
I was annoyed that we'd messed up.
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