11:39 30 November 2012
Lord Justice Leveson’s final verdict on the press is that he recommends for a new and independent regulator to be established, a notion that Prime Minister David Cameron is wary of. The report also outlined that a section of the press had been able to “wreak havoc” on people.
Lord Justice Leveson said that “innocent people” have had their lives affected by some journalists, and he made particular reference to the case of murdered school-girl Millie Dowler, as well as the case concerning Madeleine McCann.
He now calls for the press to be tamed and that new legislation should be devised to enable this.
Although Mr. Cameron gave praise to the report, he reportedly rejects its key findings. He said he was concerned about putting plans in place with regards to the press.
“I have some serious concerns and misgivings about this recommendation,” he said. “For the first time we would have crossed the Rubicon, writing elements of press regulation into the law of the land.”
He added: “We should, I believe, be wary of any legislation which has the potential to infringe free speech and a free press.”
According to some reports, it is thought that Mr. Cameron could oppose the idea of the new approach to the press even if the majority of ministers agreed to it.
The report has caused a split in the government with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg being supportive of legislation. Labour leader Ed Miliband also shows full support for the report, which neared being 2000 pages long.
Lord Justice Leveson also made particular references to News of the World, Rupert Murdoch and the scandal of phone hacking and the handling of this in the report.
“This is not statutory regulation of the press,” he said, as quoted by The Independent. “I am proposing independent regulation of the press, organised by the press, itself with a statutory process to itself promote press freedom, provide stability and guarantee for the public that this new body is independent or effective.”
Many media organisations are thought to oppose the new idea as it has taken years for the media industry to evolve to a stage where there is now freedom of speech.
Although it will be beneficial in some ways for “innocent people” if the press is tamed - like those individuals in the past who were affected by a section of the press in a negative way – there are fears that the positive work the press does could be threatened.
This relates to the press’ position of being able to out any rogue persons or serious wrong-doing, so that the general public and the justice systems are made aware of the matter. The report however, mentioned wrong-doing that committed by certain journalists.
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