Newspapers must implement the Leveson recommendations for effective self-regulation or the public and journalists remain at risk from unethical newspaper conduct, Hacked Off confirmed as it responded to the sentencing today of Andy Coulson, Greg Miskiw, Neville Thurlbeck, James Weatherup and Glenn Mulcaire.
Hacked Off Executive Director Joan Smith commented on the sentencing:
“No-one can take any pleasure from the sentences handed down today on News of the World journalists. But these sentences are the inevitable outcome of a colossal failure of corporate governance within News International that allowed a culture of criminal behaviour to fester for many years.
“It has taken far too long for the thousands of innocent victims of this industrial-scale criminal conspiracy to see its perpetrators brought to justice. It is only the beginning of the process. Those victims will insist that no stone is left unturned to get to the full truth of what happened – no matter how high up the scandal went. We now need a proper independent and effective press regulator that actually works for victims and the public in preventing this sort of institutional disregard for the rights of others.
“The press industry’s self-regulator failed to work because, as always, such regulators are controlled by the big newspapers they are supposed to oversee. The Press Complaints Commission – much like its latest incarnation, IPSO – was designed from the outset to be powerless to investigate, powerless to sanction and thus powerless to prevent unethical, even criminal, behaviour.
“Even as journalists are being jailed, some newspapers refuse to accept that they must change their culture, or that they must implement Leveson’s recommendations for effective, independent regulation. Until they do, the public at large – and the journalists who work for these companies – remain at risk from unethical and unlawful newspaper conduct, without adequate remedy.”