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

Before we do -- and I'm very keen to do so -- I'd just like to focus a little bit on what you said at the very beginning of this analysis, which was to suggest that the terms of reference really should be centred on plurality rather than regulation, and that it may be that the terms of reference had been misunderstood.

I don't want to take too legalistic a view about the terms of reference -- I'm conscious that that's a criticism that's been made of earlier inquiries -- but on the other hand I have to be rather careful not to exceed what I am required to do. The Inquiry is into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. That's part 1, paragraph one. It identifies four particular problems: contacts and relationships between newspapers and politicians, contacts and relationships between press and the police, the extent to which the current policy and regulatory framework has failed, including in relation to data protection, and the extent to which it has failed to act on previous warnings.

So that's the context and within culture, practice and ethics, of course, is the relationship between the at public. You can talk about regulatory framework and the word "including", which I certainly recognise does not exclude issues of plurality, but let's go on and look at what I'm required to make recommendations about:

"For a new and more effective policy and regulatory regime, which supports, amongst other things, the plurality of the media."

So that's all to do with a regime. So that's a structure which best supports media plurality. Do you say that that allows me to descend into the detailed at a particular level -- that's a percentage, whatever metric you want to take up -- as to what newspaper organisations should be entitled to own in this country? Or am I there to advise upon the structure that should be in place so that an appropriate body can make a decision, because I have to pick, in (b), for "how future concerns about ... regulation and cross-media ownership should be dealt about with by all the relevant authorities", including in part, government, et cetera.

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