The politicians' draft Royal Charter is supposed to be a wizard wheeze to entrench "voluntary independent self-regulation", Judge Leveson's Orwellian oxymoron, without crossing David Cameron's Rubicon into statutory regulation. Of course, it does nothing of the kind. It is state regulation by any other name.
This is not a story that can be understood from headlines alone, partly because in Britain the headlines have so often wildly distorted the truth. Despite what you may have read, there is no threat by British politicians to interfere with press freedom. There is, however, a powerful consensus for change.
In the digital age newspapers are out of date by the time they are published. This is one of the reasons why publishers are investing more in their wider media strategy, with the Evening Standard recently announcing the forthcoming launch of a television channel. One side effect has been the rise of some very successful online publications, but most blogs are volunteer run and don't have enough resources or attract a broad enough readership to compete with the established media in quality terms.
There is nothing in any of the proposals aired at the inquiry or in Leveson or in the hubbub since that will make regulatory issues any more tractable than they have been for over the last two decades. Heaven knows, the PCC needed more muscle and more independence. But, there is no half-decent system of press regulation in the world that does not begin with the taking of complaints from the public. Yet Leveson rejected the notion that a complaints-driven system could justify calling itself a regulator.
The past decade has seen a decline in trust across the board. The figures for senior police officers is down 23 points, from 72% to 49%; local police officers are down 13 points, from 82% to 69%, Even family doctors (down from 93% to 82%) and school teachers (88% to 70%) have seen double-digit falls, even though both still occupy the two top places.
It's probably fair to say that the re-election of James Murdoch onto the board of BSkyB doesn't seem like the biggest scandal facing the media at the moment. With the shocking allegations of abuse at the BBC and the issuing of 'privacy claims' over alleged hacking at the Daily Mirror, the fact that Murdoch remains as a director of one of Britain's biggest companies could easily have gone unnoticed.