With the announcement that the Press Complaints Commission is to close, and the NUJ’s announcement that it is ‘pleased’ by the news having fought long and hard for its abolition, other organisations have also welcomed its imminent passing.
Andrew Terry, media law expert at law firm Eversheds, said that the closure was necessary but highlighted a lack of a long-term replacement.
“Lord Hunt has promised plenty of consultation before putting in place a system that both has credibility and which is acceptable to the press – all that means this will be a very long running drama,” added Terry.
Richard Ellis communications director for the PRCA, said that The Leveson enquiry had highlighted the organisations inability to hold ‘the Fourth Estate’ to account.
“The interim body to replace the PCC is an opportunity for the media to demonstrate that it can and is willing to be held to account. Without effective voluntary or statutory regulation, the media will lose the trust and influence that are fundamental to both its influence and revenues,” he added.
Meanwhile, the CIPR’s CEO Jane Wilson said that the PCC had struggled to maintain public confidence in recent years, partly due to the “unwillingness of some titles” to follow industry self-regulation. She too highlighted the importance of the transitional period before a new body was established.
“The transitional arrangements must provide continuity and the regulatory regime that follows it should be one that actively rebuilds public trust in the professional standards of UK journalism but does not cross the line into government control of media,” said Wilson.
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