No more compromises over press regulation

Letter from victims of press abuses to The Guardian

Published 20th June 2013

It is baffling and disappointing to
us, as people who have suffered some of the worst press abuses of
recent years, that the Guardian suddenly appears ready to surrender
to the manipulations of press corporations responsible for many of
those abuses (In
praise of… Michael Grade,19 June). Your newspaper, which
did more than any other institution to bring those corporations to
book, is advocating a delay that plays directly into their hands.
Before us is a hard-won opportunity: a draft royal charter that is
based on the recommendations of the Leveson inquiry, approved by every party in parliament and backed
by public opinion and by victims of abuses such as ourselves. After
seven inquiries into the press in 70 years we are closer than ever
to an effective, independent press self-regulation scheme that will
protect the public and at the same time protect freedom of
expression. This is in large part a consequence of having victims
properly represented for the first time by the campaign
group, Hacked Off.

Yet the Guardian now calls for further compromise, even though the charter
already contains many concessions to press demands. You urge more
negotiation with proprietors and editors who have learned nothing and shown no contrition, and who have consistently rejected compromise. You complain of drift when the only drift is caused by
them, in their desperation to defy parliament and sabotage the
charter.

The surest consequence of the delay you propose will the kind of shady fix we have seen so many times before, and so we will be left at best with another sham self-regulator no better than the
Press Complaints Commission. Please do not allow this to happen.

The judge has spoken, parliament has spoken and the polls indicate that your readers favour a Leveson-based outcome. Don’t lose your
nerve now.

Yours,

Sheila Hollins
Christopher Jefferies
Ian Hurst
Jacqui Hames
HJK
Ben Jackson
Mike Hollingsworth
Alex Best
Ed Blum
Sky Andrew
Tricia Cooklin
Tom Rowland
Ciara Parkes
Professor John Tulloch
Jane Winter
Margaret and Jim Watson
Joan Smith

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