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

Right. I definitely would not maintain the Press Complaints Commission, but you asked for something positive and I think what was discussed this morning was what I would also argue for, which is, you know, coregulation or backstop regulation. I think it's very important that the regulatory process should be as independent as possible, by which I mean independent of government. And it should, I think for the most part, be in the hands of the press itself. Not by the way of present editors, which is one of the problems, I think, with the PCC. It must be a regulatory system. It mustn't be what we have now, which used to pretend it was a regulatory system but has finally woken up to the fact that it is actually no such thing, it is simply a complaints mediation body. So it must be a proper regulatory system; independent.

It must be, in my view, like the Press Council, which had an interest in maintaining press freedom, that is the freedom for the press to operate in the public interest, whilst at the same time concerning itself with the wrongdoings of the press and also receiving complaints, but somewhere along the line there must be a statutory backstop, because the whole problem, as you've been told endlessly no doubt, with the present system is that if the editors and owners of the national newspapers -- again this is a national newspaper problem. The owners and editors of the regional press do tend to take more notice of judgments by the Press Complaints Commission, but the owners and editors of the national press don't. There must be some kind of adequate sanctioning if people break the code, the terms of the code.

Again to repeat what I'm sure you've heard many times before, there's nothing wrong with the code. The problem is the code isn't obeyed when the code is broken and when the PCC does bestir itself to move to an adjudication, nothing really very much happens.

So that's my thoughts.

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