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Newspapers launch last minute legal attempt to block royal charter



Executives from across the newspaper industry have launched a last minute attempt to challenge the royal charter, due to be finalised on Wednesday afternoon by the Privy Council, which will see the press more stringently regulated.

 A group of press executives from a cross-consortium of media groups came up with the proposal to self-regulate after the Leveson inquiry in 2012, but politicians said that this was not enough.

The press are launching the last ditch attempt to block the charter in the High Court on Wednesday morning.

The inquiry was launched after serious allegations of phone hacking, which led to the closure of the News of the World.

Former editor of the tabloid paper Rebekah Brooks and other senior press figures, including Andy Coulson, former adviser to David Cameron, are currently on trial for their part in the scandal.

The press say that state regulation of the media would compromise their political independence. Conservative MP Nick Boles said that state regulation would be “draconian”, adding, “There’s nothing that [the coalition have] done that troubles me more than this”.

 According to a YouGov poll, the majority of the British voters do not feel that they would entirely trust a self-regulated press.

Seventy-nine per cent of respondents chose the option, There should be an independent press regulator, established by law, which deals with complaints and decides what sanctions there should be if journalists break agreed codes of conduct.”

Further reading:

Privy council to discuss royal charter on press regulation

Parties agreed on press regulation measures

Defenders of a free press are being dishonest

A short history of trying to regulate an irreverent, unruly and opinionated press

The Guide to Responsible Media 2012


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