Royal Charter

We have a Royal Charter that has been approved by every single party in Parliament. It is backed by the mass of public opinion. And it is based on the recommendations of a year-long, judge-led public inquiry of remarkable thoroughness. And now the people who run some of our big newspaper corporations - an industry condemned by that inquiry for 'wreaking havoc in the lives of innocent people' - say they have made a concession towards it.
The Royal Charter on the press that was approved by all parties in Parliament on 18 March will benefit the public in many ways. The Charter, which is based on the recommendations of the year-long Leveson Inquiry and has the support of many victims of press abuses, creates a framework for press self-regulation that meets basic regulatory standards.
When you've been untouchable and all powerful and have successfully fought off seven previous government attempts to put an end to press abuse, you don't give your power up lightly. So the announcement that three newspaper groups have "rejected" the Royal Charter, recently agreed by a united House of Commons, is not surprising.
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.
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There is, in fact, a very easy way to ensure that journalists don't break the law: get the police to do the job they're paid to do, rather than taking back-handers, sometimes several thousands of pounds, from reporters looking for a good story. It really is as simple as that.
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