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

Since I published this, the newspapers association in Canada convened a conference, and are now effectively consulting on what the future might be, because they are very aware that they're -- there is a real tension here.

Voluntary members of the Press Council began to see the press councils as, I think, overly politically correct, overly constraining. There was no value -- to go back to Richard Desmond -- to being a member of the Press Council, they began to see. And they started to pull out. Therefore funding pulled out, and you saw this kind of breakdown.

The response on the other side -- and I think most prominently in Quebec -- has been to think about potential mandatory requirements to pull them back in, which has been very controversial.

I think in Quebec they were grappling again, like New Zealand, with: what is a journalist today? What do we expect of a professional journalist? And they were thinking there about statute in terms of defining what a professional journalist is, and therefore whether subsidies and other things flow to publications which sit in a regulatory fold.

That's something that has been discussed and consulted on. They haven't yet decided where to go with it. But this concept of a professional journalist who you would expect certain standard of has been seen as effectively a licensing of journalists.

So you would be barred from certain things if you didn't meet the criteria of being a professional journalist; one of which would be to be a member of a press council, and it effectively makes membership mandatory.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech