Since 2011 newspapers have been under severe scrutiny after several accounts of phone hacking by News International were uncovered. All through last year, public hearings were conducted by Lord Justice Leveson to review the culture and ethics of the British press.
In a report published last November, Lord Justice Leveson declared the then- current regulator PCC, unsatisfactory recommending a new independent body with more power to apply fines as well as rule to what extent apologies and corrections should be carried out.
The reaction to the report was quite controversial. David Cameron was one of the first to show his disapproval in implementing a new form of legislation and most newspapers followed suit backing up the Prime Ministers opinion. However, a new survey conducted in London suggests that public opinion lies in favor of a new independent regulation backed up by the Law.
Over half of those that answered the questionnaire said they would feel at large risk if the press were to continue being regulated by them-selves.
The poll involving just over 100 people shows that 82% of the participants wants more transparency between politicians and the media.
Just over half of those interviewed believed Lord Leveson’s recommendations should be implemented in full.
The lack of confidence in the press was widespread with only 5% saying Lord Justice Leveson recommendations should not be implemented.
Follow the link and have a look at our Interactive Chart.
After several months of discussion and impasses between PM David Cameron and the other parties the three main political parties in the UK were able to reach a deal on the 18th of March. The plan was to introduce a new independent regulator backed by a royal charter.
Copy and paste the following link to view the questionnaire if the hyperlink fails to work:
The Press response and Hacked Off:
However, the press had other plans, they announced they would set up a regulator under a royal charter of their own. According to protesters and victims group, Hacked Off, this option should be fiercely opposed.
“I’ve been a journalist for thirty years the things that were uncovered during the Levenson inquiry is not journalism it’s vandalism,” says Brian Cathcart, director of Hacked Off.
“I think too much power in one place is not a good thing, and we all saw the results of that, a huge scandal involving bribery and corruption through out the news papers industry. I think it is time for them to be regulated by law,” says freelance writer and journalist Anne Winston, 27.
Hacked off, replied with a post declaring newspapers have learnt nothing from past events and said that by rejecting the charter they also rejected the only regulation that would be fully able to protect the general public from abuses like the phone hacking scandal ever happening again.
“We don’t need another useless body like the PCC, people needs to be protected from all this,” says protester, Paul Griffiths, 33.
So, whats next?
MPS will now vote this Tuesday in order to decide if they are or not backing up the press.
Listen to the clip below for our exclusive Q&A conference with Brian Cathcart director of Hacked Off, and find out more about the Leveson inquiry and Hacked Off campaign in favour of victims of the press.
A review of Leveson’s Key recommendations:
How does people feel about all this? Watch the video below and find out.