I went to a very interesting event this morning, organised by the Westminister Media Forum on "Priorities for press regulation". There were a number of us tweeting, who managed to cover the important aspects, so I thought a Storify could be useful.
We started with Lord Hunt, Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, who has already announced its demise.
He made a number of interesting comments about the PCC and where the thinking was leading him in his proposals for a new self-regulatory body.
After Lord Hunt had rushed off to listen to the Queen, he was followed by Professor Steve Barnett of Westminster University, who gave a pretty excoriating view of what had happened within the newspaper industry
He rejected the idea that statutory regulation would make us Zimbabwe or North Korea. I have to admit that I felt an element of semantics going on throughout the event. Those in favour of self-regulation for the industry talked about the alternative being *state* (rather than statutory) regulation, which does raise the spectre of censorship in the listeners mind.
Next up was Donnacha DeLong, President of the National Union of Journalists, who stated that had the unions not been kicked out of Wapping 25 years ago, the News of the World wouldn't have gone under, as the journalists would have had that support. He was vehemently opposed to the idea of licensing journalists, largely on the grounds that even the NUJ had trouble defining who was a journalist.
We then moved onto a panel session on "Journalism - ethics, standards and regulation" with Gavin MacFadyen of the Centre for Investigative Journalism, Prof Stewart Purvis of City University, John Sweeney of Panorama and Richard Peppiat, formerly of the Daily Star and now part of Hacked Off. Some highlights from that session were:
In the question and answer session, Jon Collett of the PCC stated that their complaints procedure was speedy. Now, I've had some experience of the PCC complaints procedure, which led to the following exchange:
Which highlighted the good point made earlier by David Jordan of the BBC: