Commenting on a letter published today from UK press bodies to the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, claiming progress is being made towards industry-wide agreement on press regulation, Professor Brian Cathcart, director of Hacked Off said:
“Nobody will trust anything set up by the press itself unless somebody with real clout is checking, on the public’s behalf, that this is not just another toothless industry poodle like the Press Complaints Commission.
“Newspaper proprietors can boast all they like about how they are complying with Leveson, but we can’t just take their word for it. These are the same people who were condemned by the Leveson Inquiry for ‘wreaking havoc in the lives of innocent people’, and the same people who were found to have operated the PCC for years in their own interests rather than the public’s.
“The public and the many victims of press abuses need to be certain that the past will not be repeated and that these editors will not once again be left marking their own homework.
“As Lord Justice Leveson said, the only way that can be done is to pass a law which sets out basic standards of effectiveness for a new self-regulator and which also creates a strong body able to ensure that those standards are being met.
“Editors clearly do not grasp that it is not for an industry that stands condemned in the report of a public inquiry to pick and choose which parts of that report’s findings they might like to implement.”
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