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

Expressing a personal view, I have a very strong view that the ecology and the way Ofcom is regulated is different to the way the press is regulated and I wouldn't recommend -- and I'm not suggesting -- that they should be regulated together, for a number of reasons. I think firstly it's not necessarily healthy to have such an enormous regulator regulating all organs of the media, and secondly, they have different backgrounds, the press and the broadcast media. The broadcast media is already very heavily regulated through the law, whether it be the Television Without Frontiers directive or the Audiovisual Service Media directive. Within the Human Rights Act, Article 10, it gives the states the rights to license broadcasters.

So broadcasters are very heavily regulated within the law, but there has always been within this jurisdiction a strong traditional of the freedom of the press, going back 400 years, and I think that the traditions need to be respected. Adopting the points made by Lord Patten earlier, I would hope that there would be a system that could be viewed or considered by the press first, before there would be some form of statutory regulation.

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