NEWS
08/02/2012 08:05 GMT | Updated 08/02/2012 11:17 GMT

Online Publications Should Be Consulted On Press Regulation, Huffington Post UK Editor Carla Buzasi Tells Leveson

Digital publications should be consulted on the future shape of media regulation, the editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post UK has told the Leveson inquiry into press ethics.

Carla Buzasi said that while the Huffington Post UK was a member of the Press Complaints Commission, the media watchdog did not initially know how to deal with the site when it applied in September 2010.

She said the fact that the PCC did not initially know how to classify the website, eventually deeming it to be "regional press", showed how any press watchdog needed to recognise how the media landscape had changed in recent years.

Buzasi told Leveson that statutory regulation of the press "had its issues" and that any new system press regulation that came out of the inquiry "shouldn't be legally binding".

"Digital websites are the future of the media industry in this country and I think it's important that we get consulted on that," she said.

Buzasi also told the inquiry how the website launched on the day that the phone hacking scandal exploded with the Guardian's story that Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked, a revelation that eventually led to the establishment of the Leveson inquiry.

On Wednesday morning more victims of hacking, including Steve Coogan and Alistair Campbell accepted damages from News International.

Heather Mills, the ex-wife of Sir Paul McCartney, will be appearing before the Leveson inquiry on Thursday where she is expected to be questioned over allegations that Piers Morgan knew about phone hacking taking place at the Daily Mirror while he was editor - a charge he has denied.