Response to letter to Queen from international press organisations

Posted: October 24, 2013 at 9:06 am

In response to a letter from seven international media associations to the Queen asking her not to grant the Royal Charter on the press, Hacked Off’s Executive Director, Brian Cathcart, said:

‘It’s obvious that these bodies have been duped into taking this initiative by the big British press companies. The letter shows that they are completely misinformed about the content and purpose of the Royal Charter and that unlike the British public they have fallen for the hysterical scaremongering of a small group of self-interested editors and proprietors.

‘Worse than that, they don’t seem to realise the ludicrous position they have put themselves in by claiming to talk about democracy while demanding that the British monarch should deny the united will of every single party in Parliament.

‘Everything about the letter from the seven organisations suggests that either it was dictated for them by the bosses of the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the Murdoch press, or that their knowledge of what is happening in Britain is informed exclusively by reading those papers, whose coverage has been biased to the point of parody.

‘They say in their letter that the Royal Charter is “in reality a set of repressive statutory controls” when it obviously isn’t. It is a Royal Charter and was designed as a Royal Charter as a concession to the press. Among other things, it states clearly that a press self-regulator “should not have the power to prevent publication of any material, by anyone, at any time.”

‘They say it “brings Parliament for the first time ever to the heart of the newsroom”. What nonsense. It protects the press and its self-regulatory system from political interference to a degree never seen before in Britain.

‘They say it will have “a chilling effect on journalism throughout the United Kingdom” when in practice the new system will give investigative journalists greater freedom from intimidation by powerful institutions and wealthy individuals than ever before.

‘Strikingly, the letter fails to take note of the shocking abuses suffered by the Queen’s subjects at the hands of big, rich newspaper companies over the past decade and more – abuses which prompted a formal public inquiry whose recommendations are implemented in the Royal Charter.

‘Where were these seven bodies when British newspapers were hacking phones, stealing data, intruding in privacy, bullying and libelling?’

8 comments

  1. Dan - reply

    Once again, ludicrous and utterly transparent tactics from Murdoch, Dacre et al which only serve to demonstrate the total absence of any credible arguments against the Royal Charter and the absolute necessity for its immediate introduction.

  2. Jason Fazackerley - reply

    If this wasn’t so serious it would be funny. Even if there was a case that could be argued that the Royal Charter could allow the slightest influence by politicians I for the life of me I cannot understand why the public should put their trust in distant, out of touch press barons over a democratically elected government. This whole saga continues to prove that there are dark forces at work in the UK and global media industry.

    I whole heartedly support the Royal Charter.

  3. martin Brittain - reply

    Hacked off is an organisation representing people with something to hide. They use the media to promote their interests but do want the press to show the shady part of their lives. They cannot have it both ways. No to media censorship.

    • Bill Mason - reply

      I have nothing to hide and I actually agree with you – No to media censorship. But surely it has to be Yes for responsible and honest representation of fact – not dictated by personal/ editorial/ owner bias, or self seeking manipulation, or even just sloppy, unprofessional “journalism” masquerading under Freedom of the Press.

    • Mike Gogan - reply

      On the contrary, Hacked Off represents the interests of millions of ordinary people who are sick to death of a group of powerful tax exiles corrupting democracy in this country. On the other hand, the steady stream of misinformation and downright lies being put out by Rothermere, Murdoch, the Barclays and their minions have one purpose only: to protect the interests of a small group of wealthy individuals

    • jim - reply

      yep. quite right. I mean, christopher jeffreys had loads to hide, eh? and the dowlers could hardly complain about long-lens photo’s when they were trying to ‘hide’ their grief.

      typical daily mail reader.

    • Mike Gogan - reply

      On the contrary, Hacked Off represents the interests of millions of ordinary people who are fed up to the back teeth of a powerful group of tax exiles corrupting this democracy in this country.

      On the other hand, the recent flow of propaganda, half-truths and spin from Rothermere, Murdoch, the Barclay brothers and their minions has only one purpose: to protect the interests of the powerful and wealthy

    • Jason Fazackerley - reply

      “Hacked off is an organisation representing people with something to hide”

      Please explain Mr Brittain, I am confused.

Leave a comment