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

-- more generally.

I think, and probably from what I said earlier on, my conclusions from looking at this go back to, I suppose: what is it we're trying to achieve here? And I think a commitment to ethical standards, as I mentioned, built into the DNA, I think, is what we're trying to achieve. It seems to me those areas where thought is being given to regulation being something that you want to be on the inside of are successful and are worth looking at, whether it's the online providers wanting in, in the Danish model, or the recognition that is given in the Irish statute.

So that active compliance, I think, comes along with a recognition that regulation, you know, makes good business sense and it makes ethical sense, and potentially, with statutory recognition, it makes legal sense.

But secondly, not looking at it from the point of view of the businesses and the providers here, looking at it from the public's point of view, I think there is something -- and your Lordship talked about what is going on here, what are these sort of fundamental changes that are affecting us all. I think there's something about, as a citizen, we're flooded with information but can we distinguish the credible from the not credible, or the providers who are committed to ethical standards from those that are not?

So, again, it seems to me that through a system where regulation has a value, that goes hand in hand with a commitment to the citizen, and the citizen can then use that choice.

They may choose to access information and publications within the regulatory fold, or they may choose to go outside. That's their choice. But they need to know what's there. And I would defy anybody currently to be able to go to a newsstand, or go online, and identify who is inside and outside the regulatory fold. Who subscribes to standards and who doesn't.

That doesn't mean that everybody outside the regulatory fold in the future wouldn't subscribe to standards. Clearly, bloggers may do, and they may have a whole separate constituency that they are trying to attract.

But I think as well as embedding ethical standards, as well as serving the public interest, you have to serve the public, and enable the public to make informed choices.

So to come back to the conclusions here, I have drawn distinctions between -- on that spectrum that I started with -- and my thinking is that there is something around that statutory recognition or a recognition of ethical commitments which is interesting. I don't believe that Ireland provides us with a straightforward blueprint, but I think there's something quite interesting, quite subtle actually, going on in that Act, that would be well worth exploring here.

I know I said this earlier on, but the other thing that really came across to me very forcibly was the Press Council saying, all of them saying: the law is distinct from ethical regulation. And what ethical regulation provides is both less and more than the law.

It provides more than the law in that the ethical standards you're obliged to commit to -- I think as you heard before from Hugh Tomlinson -- go further. You know, accuracy, dealing with bereaved families. They go beyond the law. But they're less than the law in terms of financial remedy. They offer a different sort of remedy, and it kept being brought home to me, this distinction between the two.

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