free press

The idea of the free press is a product of modern democratic systems, and one that such systems purportedly support and aspire to. According to Reporters Without Borders, a French-founded organisation campaigning for freedom of expression and information worldwide, almost half of the world's population is denied this liberty.
This double standard of what behaviour is expected from a 'free press', not just in Britain, but throughout the world, throws up the question; how is the inquiry seen by the rest of the world, and will it affect the way foreign media outlets are regulated?
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.
Obviously I'm not saying that we should enforce a major crackdown on the press in the form of regulation, but I do think something needs to be done and fast, especially if we are ever going to gain the public and the celebrities faith back.
Is what's being offered enough to rehabilitate the reputation of the media? When they have to make a profit and balance that against dong the "right thing" - is this not too much to ask? Is it a feasible proposal?
The point here is not to say that the press should remain all but unregulated, it is to highlight how the decision to regulate links to a more fundamental issue of the origin of legitimate power in our society.
The Leveson Report tries to deal head on with the current problems with the press as it sees them. However, on this occasion
Power has neurological effects on the brain which can include a distortion of thinking, a degrading of morals and a blunting of empathy. Democracy and its artifacts were invented to counteract this neurological condition and a free press is one of the great inventions of democracy.
It is not in the public interest to have a press capable of running riot in the deliberate manufacture of false news which serves the interests of power. It is in the public interest to have a press which the public can hold to account when it fakes news in the interests of power, and which can thus counterbalance its overwhelming dominance by corporate conglomerates.
IF they succeed MPs will get the press they want - supine, acquiescent, unquestioning and dull like in state regulated France - rather than the impertinent, rude, awkward, partisan, iconoclastic press they absolutely deserve.