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Reporting on the proposed Charter for the Press

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Reporting on the proposed Charter for the Press

Post  Panda on Tue 19 Mar - 3:10

Expenses scandal MPs could sit in judgment on the press under plans for new
media regulator



MPs shamed by the Telegraph’s expenses investigation could sit in judgment
over the press under plans for a new media regulator agreed by all three main
political parties.









Mr Cameron unveiled the plans in
Parliament as several MPs welcomed the crackdown Photo: PA






By Gordon Rayner, Chief
Reporter

10:00PM GMT 18 Mar 2013


13 Comments




A draft royal charter setting out how a new watchdog should be established
specifies that serving MPs will be barred from sitting on the board of the
regulator, but there is nothing to prevent former MPs being appointed.



The provision was described as “perverse” by the Tory MP Richard Drax, who
criticised the charter during a debate in Parliament.


He told The Telegraph: “It would be completely and utterly wrong if former
MPs [tainted by the expenses scandal] ended up on the board of the new
regulator. That would be perverse, and the unintended consequences of anything
like this are potentially quite serious.


“The whole thing is being rushed – they published the draft charter today, it
is being debated tonight and then that’s it. It’s a knee-jerk reaction and they
never work.”


Websites, bloggers and social networking sites such as Twitter could be
punished by judges if they refuse to sign up to the new watchdog. All publishers
of news, comment and “gossip” will be encouraged to join the regulatory system.
If they do not, and they are sued for defamation or breach of privacy, judges
could force them to pay higher compensation because of their refusal to take
part in the new system, which is designed to make redress quicker and cheaper
for victims.



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The royal charter, set up to implement the recommendations of the Leveson
Inquiry, specifies that even foreign-based websites will come under the new
regime if they publish news primarily aimed at a British audience.

Read the draft royal charter in full:









18 March 2013 v6 Draft Royal Charter


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Downing Street said that the new regulatory regime was not aimed at bloggers,
Facebook or Twitter, but media lawyers said judges might have a different
opinion if cases are tested in court.

Niri Shan, of the law firm Taylor Wessing, said: “I think the wording of the
royal charter is unclear and if I was Facebook or Twitter or Google I would be
concerned about the lack of clarity.

“It could end up with someone taking the British government to the European
Court, arguing that this is not compliant with free speech, because I can’t
think of any other country where you would be punished for not signing up to a
regulator.”

Mr Shan said that a judge could decide that bloggers such as Guido Fawkes,
who breaks political news stories, are effectively news providers, and could
punish them accordingly if they are sued and have refused to sign up to the new
regulator.

A draft version of the royal charter, published after leaders of the Tories,
Labour and Liberal Democrats stayed up until 2.30am to thrash out an agreement,
makes it clear that even foreign-based websites will be subjected to the new
regime if they publish articles “targeted primarily at an audience in the UK”.
It means that the US-based Twitter and Google, and the Ireland-based Guido
Fawkes, will have an incentive to sign up to the new regulator because their
foreign status will afford them no protection if they are sued in British
courts.

Among the websites which would be expected to sign up to the new regulator
are the online-only Huffington Post and the gossip site Holy Moly, but small
niche titles such as the British Medical Journal or parish magazines would not
be expected to join.

Despite David Cameron’s insistence that the royal charter is not underpinned
by statute, the royal charter will be referred to in a clause in a future Act of
Parliament, meaning it does have statutory backing.

Critics argue that this gives Parliament a say in the way the press is
regulated, ending 300 years of press freedom, and the fact that any future
parliament cannot be bound by the decisions of previous parliaments means MPs
could extend their powers over the Press in the future.

Other provisions in the charter include the requirement for a whistleblowing
hotline, so that journalists can complain directly if they feel they are being
asked to breach a new code of conduct.























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Re: Reporting on the proposed Charter for the Press

Post  Panda on Tue 19 Mar - 9:01

Have a look at the avatar for fatimawolverhampton




harmonicaman

Today 03:44 AM




And if twitter, Google and Facebook refuse to sign up, refuse to accept a
British court has purview over them as they are based abroad, then what
?
Block access to them ?, and other blogs and websites printing "stories" the
powers that be, the thieves who gouge the taxpayer do not like. Isn't that what
the Chinese Government does ?













  • FarmerPalmer

    Today 02:02 AM




    So... the Press wants be in control of regulation of the Press? Fat chance.
    The key lesson of the MP Expense scandal is you cannot trust any entity to
    exercise true and independent oversight of itself. The Press Complaint
    Commission is clearly shows that the Press is as capable of sinking into a
    cesspit of corruption and malfeasance as any other organisation. Because the
    Press is the entity that we typically rely on to uncover these transgressions in
    other organisations does not exempt it from scrutiny. The press if a profit
    making business first and a public interest entity second. When News
    International and other news entities start publishing exposes on corruption
    within their own organisations then I will accept that the Press requires no
    independent monitoring. Stop whining and accept that you need to be accountable
    for corrupt practices as anyone else.












  • Slicer

    Yesterday 11:19 PM




    Things aren't going to change until enough people are baying for MPs blood
    outside parliament.











  • Kate999999

    Yesterday 09:25 PM




    The press is far too important to be regulated by these
    charlatans











  • arsonista

    Yesterday 09:13 PM






    We really need to push the reset button. If there's a place on a committee
    going, Vaz will be all over it like a rash.













  • NealK

    Yesterday 08:05 PM




    I can only hope that the major papers and websites will tell the new
    regulator to go stuff itself.












  • fatimawolverhampton

    Yesterday 08:04 PM




    Some MPs probably read the Telegraph. Probably Ministers Telegraph, ordinary
    MPs, Daily Mail.

    In it they will read, day in day out, our opinions of them. They won't like
    this one bit with some of the radicals wanting them all hung.

    I expect this might herald Blairism raising its ugly head again. In the end,
    with no dissent publicised I expect it will be revealed to us we are all mad
    happy, like in North Korea.

    Fortunately the internet is difficult for them to clampdown on. So I expect
    they will ban it chunk by chunk until what is left are "official news outlets"
    and shopping sites.

    So it is a panicked corrupt MPs at work here - the press is not free but tame
    we have them dutifully reporting the edicts of the MP monsters as it is.

    Things can only get worse I expect. D Ream should redo that
    song.












  • Handsome_Jack

    Yesterday 07:31 PM




    This consensus, hurriedly agreed to by all parties, fulfills all MPs wishes
    to control the press.

    If these regulations had been in force a couple of years ago, the
    MP's expenses scandal would probably never have come to
    light.












  • Tom Bacon

    Yesterday 07:10 PM




    Nice angle, if it weren't too transparent an attempt. Instead of dealing
    with the debate, see if you can whip up the anti-MP hatred and hope it's greater
    than the anti-media hatred.











  • Diogenesthered

    Yesterday 06:57 PM




    Wasn't a problem when the editors were sitting on the PCC.

    Bloody hell, even on the day of the vote the bloody Sun was still in court
    for actions carried out between 2010-2012.

    Trusting any of you would be like Madonna hiring Jimmy Savile as the baby
    sitter.











  • weybridge

    Yesterday 06:54 PM




    The DT is scraping the barrel with such `scare stories`. A good example of
    why we have such a rotten press.












  • drcox

    Yesterday 06:52 PM




    'they published the draft charter today, it is being debated tonight and then
    that’s it. It’s a knee-jerk reaction and they never work.”

    What an utter farrago of malign turpitude, the consequences of which are
    already hotly disputed. A lawyers' feast, and beware what you say - you may fall
    within the compass of this
    legislation.











  • NealK

    Yesterday 08:07 PM




    "A lawyers' feast, and beware what you say - you may fall within the compass
    of this legislation."

    It is sentiments like this that reveal why this legislation is so
    wicked.












  • fretslider

    Yesterday 06:47 PM




    Time for that revolution, we really need to start over.












  • fatimawolverhampton

    Yesterday 08:30 PM




    Take a cue from Gandhi.












  • great_britain

    Yesterday 06:40 PM




    Bent politicians already sit in judgement of others on the select
    committees.

    Keith 'Slippery' Vaz and the grandstanding Tom 'Billy Bunter' Watson to name
    but tw

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    Re: Reporting on the proposed Charter for the Press

    Post  Panda on Tue 19 Mar - 9:20

    David Cameron's Leveson deal is 'threat to press freedom', says human rights
    watchdog



    David Cameron has been accused of creating a “threat to press freedom” by an
    international body which polices human rights in some of the most autocratic
    countries.


















    560
    315
    TelegraphPlayer_9937054























    By Christopher Hope, and Rowena
    Mason

    7:20PM GMT 18 Mar 2013

    458 Comments




    The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, which usually
    polices elections to ensure against human rights abuses, said that the phone
    hacking scandal should not be used as an "excuse" to restrict free speech.



    The intervention was made after the Prime Minister was accused of putting
    together a “grubby deal” after he dropped his opposition to use legislation to
    underpin a new system of press regulation.


    The Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders met with a Conservative minister in
    secret talks which lasted until early Monday morning to hammer out a deal which
    could see the press regulated by a new Royal Charter.


    Those who refuse to sign up, including websites, now face “exemplary damages”
    if they are taken to court.


    Several of the country’s biggest newspaper groups, including Telegraph Media
    Group, issued a statement expressing their initial concerns over the proposals.




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      17 Mar 2013


    There is growing speculation that some newspapers and magazines may boycott
    the new system amid claims it violates fundamental human rights.

    Mr Cameron unveiled the plans in Parliament as several MPs - exposed for
    their own failings in the media - welcomed the crackdown.

    In a statement, a spokesman for the Organisation for Security and
    Co-operation in Europe said: “A government-established regulatory body,
    regardless of how independent it is intended to be, could pose a threat to media
    freedom.

    “I still believe that self-regulation is the best way to deal with ethical
    lapses and failures to comply with professional standards.

    “The phone-hacking scandal was a criminal issue and the people involved are
    being prosecuted. This should not be used as an excuse to rein in all print
    media.”

    The Index on Censorship, a campaign group chaired by veteran BBC broadcaster
    Jonathan Dimbleby, said creation of Britain’s first official newspaper regulator
    for 300 years marks a “sad day for press freedom”.

    Mr Dimbleby said he is “dismayed” that politicians will now get power over
    the regulation of newspapers. The board has the gravest anxiety at the residual
    political powers the now expected outcome and system will give to politicians,”
    Mr Dimbleby said.

    “The two thirds block on any changes to the royal charter could be abused in
    the future – not least when today’s emerging consensus shows that the parties
    can come together in both houses to agree on press regulation.”

    In the Commons, Mr Cameron sought to draw a line under the phone hacking
    scandal which started with the claim that the mobile phone of murdered
    schoolgirl Milly Dowler was hacked by reporters and led to scores of journalists
    being arrested and a full blown judicial inquiry by Lord Justice Leveson.

    Insisting that the cross-party deal on press regulation would defend the
    principle of a free press, Mr Cameron told MPs: “My message to the press is
    clear. We’ve had the debate. Now it is time to get on and make this system
    work.”

    He defended the need to enshrine the royal charter in law, which could be
    amended by peers and MPs at a later date, insisting: “It is legislation to
    protect the royal charter, it is not legislation to recognise the royal charter.


    Setting out his reasons for opposing more fundamental legislation, he said it
    would be “wrong to run even the slightest risk of infringing free speech or a
    free press”.

    He added: “As Winston Churchill said, ‘a free press is the unsleeping
    guardian of every other right that free men prize, it is the most dangerous foe
    of tyranny’. By rejecting statutory regulation but being in favour of a royal
    charter this House has defended that principle.”

    The royal charter will be submitted to the Queen for approval in May, once
    the necessary legislation has been approved by MPs and peers.

    Read the draft royal charter in full:









    18 March 2013 v6 Draft Royal Charter


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    Mr Cameron insisted that he had not “crossing the Rubicon” towards a press
    law because the role of the regulator was not defined in law.

    He said only “two very important but relatively small legislative changes
    that need to be made” principally to threaten exemplary damages to incentivise
    publishers to sign up to the new regulator, and to enshrine the protection of
    Parliament in law.

    The plans were criticised by MPs from his own party, as well as
    representative of the newspaper industry. Peter Lilley, a former Cabinet member
    in John Major’s Government, told MPs: “When both frontbenches are agreed we
    invariably make our worst blunders.”

    He added that he hoped other media outlets “will have the courage to, follow
    The Spectator magazine” which has indicated it will not sign up to the new
    rules.

    Charles Walker, Tory MP for Broxbourne, said that the plans “very much like
    statutory regulation and legislation”.

    He told the Commons: “I have the greatest sympathy by those who are, turned
    over by the press. But the truth is, more than 50 journalists ,have been
    arrested – they face a date in court. The police seem to be getting their act
    together.”

    Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton, described the proposals as a “disaster
    in the making” as all publications of “news-related material” will be covered by
    the rules.

    He said: “I grew up in a central African country run by various dictators who
    controlled the newspapers. Perhaps that is why I find the idea of state
    regulation of the press in Britain so shocking.

    “A big part of me thinks that this is a disaster in the making. A small part
    of me hopes these proposals go through so we can see the utter balls up that
    follows.”

    There was anger that Labour asked the pro-press regulation group Hacked Off
    to take part in the talks, which ended in the early hours of Monday morning.


    Conor Burns, a Tory MP leading the campaign to protect press freedom, also
    criticised the “grubby” circumstances of the deal.

    A joint statement from organisations and publishers representing
    commercially-successful newspapers, including Telegraph Media Group, complained
    that no one from the press had been asked to attend the talks over the weekend.


    It added: “We have only late this afternoon seen the Royal Charter that the
    political parties have agreed between themselves and, more pertinently, the
    Recognition Criteria, early drafts of which contained ,several deeply
    contentious issues which have not yet been resolved with the industry.

    “In the light of this we are not able to give any response on behalf of the
    industry to this afternoon’s proposals until we have had time to study them.”

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    Re: Reporting on the proposed Charter for the Press

    Post  Panda on Wed 20 Mar - 17:13

    Leveson deal: New regulator will end 300 years of press freedom, New York
    Times warns



    Britain's new media regulator will "stifle" journalism and end 300 years of
    press freedom, The New York Times has warned.









    Mr Cameron unveiled the plans in
    Parliament as several MPs welcomed the crackdown Photo: PA





    By Steven Swinford

    12:51PM GMT 20 Mar 2013


    59 Comments




    In an editorial, the newspaper says that the draft royal charter will "create
    a system of government regulation" and damage democracy.


    It argues that existing criminal and civil laws are sufficient to deal with
    phone hacking and "egregious actions" by tabloid newspapers, such as the now
    defunct News of the World.


    The editorial says: "In an attempt to rein in its reckless tabloid
    newspapers, Britain's three main political parties this year agreed to impose
    unwieldy regulations on the news media that would chill free speech and threaten
    the survival of small publishers and Internet sites.


    "The kind of press regulations proposed by British politicians would do more
    harm than good because an unfettered press is essential to democracy.


    "It would be perverse if regulations enacted in response to this scandal
    ended up stifling the kind of hard-hitting investigative journalism that brought
    it to light in the first place."



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    • Leveson deal marks a 'sad day for press
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      18 Mar 2013

    • Boris Johnson: a gutter press can keep clean
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      17 Mar 2013

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      17 Mar 2013


    Despite David Cameron’s insistence that the royal charter is not underpinned
    by statute, the royal charter will be referred to in a clause in a future Act of
    Parliament, meaning it does have statutory backing.

    The New York Times says: "In reality the proposal would effectively create a
    system of government regulation of Britain's vibrant free press, something 'that
    has not happened since 1695, when licencing of newspapers was abolished."

    Websites, bloggers and social networking sites such as Twitter could be
    punished by judges if they refuse to sign up to the new watchdog.

    All publishers of news, comment and “gossip” will be encouraged to join the
    regulatory system.

    If they do not, and they are sued for defamation or breach of privacy, judges
    could force them to pay higher compensation because of their refusal to take
    part in the new system, which is designed to make redress quicker and cheaper
    for victims.

    The New York Times says: "Lawyers who have looked at the proposal say it
    would also cover Internet news and opinion sites outside the country that could
    be read in Britain."

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