Thursday, December 1, 2022

Are local papers really “under threat” from press regulation?

NEWSPAPERS are telling their readers that the future of local newspapers is under threat.

The Government is consulting on the enforcement of the Leveson Inquiry. There is also the question of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act, 2013.

For the majors news groups their concern (as they see it ) is that if triggered, Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 would mean “publishers who refuse to accept state regulation of the press would be ordered to pay both sides’ court costs in libel and privacy cases – even if they win”.

They believe that if they “write a story that is entirely accurate but to which the subject takes offence. They take us to court, lose the case – but we still finish up paying their legal costs, which could total tens of thousands of pounds”.

YourThurrock has signed up and is one of the founder members of Impress.

IMPRESS is the only press regulator to be recognised as independent and effective under the Royal Charter. They provide an arbitration scheme which is free to the public and protects publishers against the risk of court costs and exemplary damages.

Have a look at the two articles linked below, which discuss the articles put forward by local newspapers regarding Section 40. If you wish to make a submission, email to presspolicy@culture.gov.uk or posted to Press Policy, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 4th floor, 100 Parliament St, London SW1A 2BQ

https://inforrm.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/implementing-leveson-the-local-press-seeks-to-defend-the-indefensible-hugh-tomlinson-qc/?blogsub=confirming#blog_subscription-3

http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/mediapolicyproject/2016/12/20/implementing-leveson-how-national-newspaper-groups-use-local-press-as-human-shields/

Postscript

Since we published article, we have seen a number of editorial pieces from local papers. Our editor has this response that is not central to the argument in hand but just wanted to make a point.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I wonder if the same was said when TV came along.

    I don’t think it will die but it has to be more interactive and go digital.
    You will sell printing copies but they will drop off as the baby boombers die out and the millennial generation who tend not to buy print but do access via broadband.

    The one good thing about broadband is no media barons control the press in a digital age . Anyone can contribute.

    Then again the state always wants to control the press really.
    I hear they love Russia Today and they got rid of Press TV.

  2. Sadly Murdoch and the mainstream press have abused there position and you are feeling the effects.

    someone rich enough can pay to fight you with no problem.
    How would you go about someone on the dole or poor unable to take action. or Milly.

    The Balance of right needs to be looked at. I am sick of the Sun making false claims and they pay a fraction of what they make .

    However I do fear for local press and online digital publications.

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