Monday, November 14, 2011

BBC chairman against newspaper regulation

The chairman of the BBC Trust has argued against statutory regulation of newspapers.In a speech entitled Ethics and Journalism after the News of the World, Chris Patten told the (British) Society of Editors' annual conference on Sunday that proper reform can be achieved only by journalists.Patten, the last governor of Hong Kong and now a life peer, said: "Statutory regulation of the press would in my view be more than wrong-headed, it would pose a real danger to the public discourse that underpins our democracy."So the responsibility to ensure high standards of professionalism rests with journalists, their editors and their proprietors."Patten said he may have to go before the Leveson inquiry that is looking into the culture, practices and ethics of the press.He said: "If so, I hope I can make a convincing case that the sort of regulation that covers us is appropriate for broadcasters but would not work for newspapers."

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