Leveson Report: New self-regulatory body should be backed up by legislation
29 Nov, 2012
Today’s Leveson report has stated that the press has ‘wreaked havoc in the lives of innocent people for decades’ and that it needs tougher self-regulation and a new body to run it.
Lord Justice Leveson has said that a new, stricter regulation system supported by legislation was desperately needed in order to uphold the industry’s standards.
He has also spoken negatively about the relationship between the press and politicians, branding it ‘damaging’ over the last twenty years.
Leveson said that although self-regulation had failed to work effectively in the past, it could do so in the future if it was backed up by the law to ‘validate’ a new body.
He said: “”The press has to be accountable to the public in whose interests it claims to be acting and must show respect for the rights of others.
“It should not be acceptable that it uses its voice, power, and authority to undermine the ability of society to require that regulation is not a free for all, to be ignored with impunity.
“The answer to the question who guards the guardians, should not be ‘no-one’.”
The judge has said that the new laws should ‘provide an independent process to recognise the new self-regulatory body and reassure the public that the basic requirements of independence and effectiveness were met and continue to be met; in the report, I recommend that this is done by Ofcom’.
The Judge also said that the press industry should commit to a legally-binding arbitration process, forcing newspapers to handle complaints in a much more effective manner.