Tuesday, 27 November 2012
No evidence to support statutory regulation of local press, NS tells Government ahead of Leveson
The Newspaper Society, representing the local press, has urged the Government to consult the public over the recommendations of the Leveson Report on press behaviour which is due to be published on Thursday.
In a message to the Government, Newspaper Society director David Newell also claims: "No evidence has been produced to Leveson which justifies controlling local and regional newspapers through a new system of Government controls under a statutory regime."
He said: “Britain’s 1,100 regional and local newspapers, with their 33 million readers in print and 42 million unique users online, urge the Government to consult the wider public on Leveson’s recommendations, when they are published.
“The public’s views in the nations, regions and localities of the UK, which have so far not been the focus of the Leveson inquiry or of politicians, should be at the centre of the debate on press freedom and press regulation.
“No evidence has been produced to Leveson which justifies controlling local and regional newspapers through a new system of Government controls under a statutory regime. Any state system would mean that the Government crossed a line of historic and constitutional significance. This would alter the relationship between Government and its citizens and jeopardise individual freedoms.”