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

That is very difficult. PressBoF, which funds the PCC, is declining, not just because Richard Desmond Express Group newspapers withdrew from it and therefore withdrew their contribution to it but because every newspaper group now faces an extremely uncertain financial future and therefore will wish to cut back where it can. And although the PCC is not huge, it is, for some newspaper groups, several hundred thousand pounds, and I think they would try to limit that. So getting it from the industry becomes increasingly difficult.

Then there is the state, and that, then, of course, raises the spectre of state interference. My own view is that in this country at least, the example of the BBC as other institutions, including the law itself, being funded by the state does not mean that independence is therefore fatally compromised.

But the third, I think -- the third way could be for some voluntary or institutional contribution. That is, that the institution raises its funds from those who -- wealthy individuals, institutions, charitable institutions, funding institutions, who have a strong interest in a free and independent media.

That, I think, would be better. That is not to say that these wealthy individuals or institutions have no agenda; very often, they will have a very powerful one. But if a number of them came in and they came in on the specific understanding that they gave money to a goal but not gave money in order to have their opinion served, then that, I think, would be the best outcome.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech