The director of the Media Standards Trust has urged the Leveson Inquiry to implement radical changes in the regulation of the press.
Martin Moore, a founder of the Hacked Off campaign, said it is necessary to protect the public and journalism in the public interest, and said a review group formed by the MST plans to submit a report on regulation to the inquiry in May.
Moore told Lord Justice Leveson he advocated a voluntary system, possibly with statutory or non-statutory incentives to comply. He and chairman of the MST board Roger Graef met with Lord Hunt, chairman of the PCC, last year.
He said the inquiry has heard clear examples of intrusion into many aspects of different people’s lives and warned Leveson not to follow the path of the 1990 Calcutt report. He praised journalism in the UK but said irresponsible reporting had lead to a lack of public trust in the media.
He added: “I absolutely think it’s incredibly important to talk about the enormous amount of excellent journalism across the country, and particularly I think at a local level.”
Will Moy from Full Fact gave evidence at the same time, and said his organisation tried to raise awareness of issues rather than making judgments about journalism, but said accuracy was a “huge problem than the public has recognised”.
Moore accused the current PCC of airbrushing the picture on complaints, saying 47 against the Daily Mail last had resulted in clarifications, corrections or apologies, and yet no adjudications against the paper were shown as upheld.
Moy added to Moore’s evidence: “There is a sense that newspapers can play games with the PCC and the PCC can’t do much about it.”
Lord Justice Leveson told the pair: “Your organisations have both thought about these issues for many years and will have very developed views and perspectives which are for me forming rather than formed, and I am sure that the product will be better for your input than without it.”