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.

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