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

I'd suggest there are a couple of -- the codes between them are very, very similar. I think there are some design features I'd like to mention and then if I can, I'd say something as well about the difference between press and non-press.

There are a couple of things built into the Irish Press Council that make it work. One is that it's recognised by statute but not set up by statute, so there's a list of statutory criteria not dissimilar to what Ofcom often does within the Communications Act for setting out a body must be sufficiently independent, must have processes and so on. So they're set out by statute, and the body becomes designated.

The other side of that is that the use of what is effectively the statutory version in Ireland of the Reynolds defence refers specifically to membership of the Press Council. It's not required, you can demonstrate its equivalence, so it's not to say that you are barred from this defence if you do not join the council, but there's a strong incentive to do so.

The other two points about the Irish Council that are significant and may not have been -- I think one of them certainly has been mentioned here. The first one is that there is provision for representation of the interests of journalists within the make-up. So you have independent members, you have members nominated from the press and you have a member nominated in this case by the NUJ, so you have do have a collection of interests there with an independent majority, so that's important.

The other thing about the Irish Council is that it does allow, as the PCC I understand now does, membership from online-only organisations, and that I think is an important part of it. I mean perhaps the title "press" is difficult there, but in all aspects to try and open it up to others.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech