press complaints commission
A Tory MP is complaining to the new press regulator over a tabloid's "entrapment" of a minister, who was tricked into "sexting
As IPSO - the press' response to Leveson - opened for business this week, newspapers may be wondering whether they will be able to convince the public that it is not just a replica of its discredited predecessor, the Press Complaints Commission. No doubt IPSO will receive praise from newspapers themselves - at least initially. But will this be enough to paper over its shortcomings? Based on the public's response to the coverage of the Leveson Report and its implementation by the national press, the answer is no. It is highly unlikely that positive newspaper coverage will ever convince the public that IPSO is independent or effective.
The whole of the British press - despite the fact that 95% of it was never involved in the hacking of phones which led to this crackdown - was subjected to a judicial inquiry with draconian powers, greater than those handed to the Chilcot Inquiry which is looking into the war in Iraq in which 100,000 people died... Not only has this been hugely dangerous for the press in Britain, it has robbed us of all moral authority to be able to try to help countries battling authoritarianism in establishing a free press.
This country is now very close to settling a problem that has plagued it for generations. The problem was this: how to protect ordinary citizens from lying, bullying and unjustified intrusion carried out in the name of journalism, while at the same time ensuring that journalists were free to do the job they need to do to sustain our democracy. The solution is the Royal Charter on press self-regulation.
The Press Complaints Commission has revealed it has so far received 726 complaints about the Daily Mail's coverage on Ralph
The extraordinary texts and phone conversations between former Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne and his son, which have been widely reported, are difficult to comprehend. Do the latest findings from the psychology of revenge provide an insight into a family hurting each other so publicly?
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 press have to set up the new system and why it is the press and no one else that must develop an independent regulatory regime that will adhere to the Leveson Principles. It isn't for the Prime Minister, the Cabinet or even Parliament to tell them how to do it.
Leveson, and the debate that follows, really is not about the r-word. But it helps press and a certain brand of outraged politician to convince the public can be convinced otherwise.
The Leveson report into press ethics was released on Thursday - in four volumes - weighing 10 kilos, and covering some 2,000