The Press Complaints Commission was condemned as being a puppet of News International and Daily Mail publisher Associated Newspapers, at a media debate in London.
MediaGuardian commentator Roy Greenslade, speaking at the Thomson Reuters debate on "The Press We Deserve," argued: "There hasn't been self-regulation...the strings of the PCC have been pulled by News International and Associated."
He said: "What we are really talking about is trying to create a system of genuine self-regulation."
Greenslade also claimed there was an informal agreement between NI, Associated and the Telegraph Group, that they did not write about each other.
Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger said: "Roy is right. Before we abolish press regulation let's try it. It's not so much a failure of regulation but no regulation."
Financial Times editor Lionel Barber, also speaking at the debate, claimed: "The PCC has failed because it is dominated by insiders. We need outsiders to come in."
He urged that the press be given "one last drink in the Last Chance Saloon" to show self-regulation could work.
Barber suggested journalists should be asked to sign up to the Code of Practice and pay a levy which would fund a new regulator.
PCC chair Peta Buscombe, also on the debate panel, responded to Greenslade by claiming: "I've never had my personal strings pulled."
- No red-top national editor was on the panel for the debate which was chaired by ex-Sunday Times editor Harold Evans.
- The question I would have liked to ask is: "How can the press put the case for self-regulation when Richard Desmond has decided his four national newspapers will play no part in it and have pulled out of the PCC?"