Do We Need Legislation to Regulate the Press?
I have every sympathy with victims of newspaper snooping but do we, as Lord Justice Leveson, J. K. Rowling and others argue, need new legislation to prevent it?
I don't think so. The methods used by the press to which Ms Rowling and others object are largely illegal anyway. Intercepting telephone message, bribing policemen and accessing medical records, to mention just three of the nefarious activities of the Grub Street can and should be punished under existing laws. It is not the laws which are at fault but the exercise of them which has been deficient, largely, one suspects, because too many police officers had their hands in the till. It is essential that all the culprits should be pursued relentlessly.
Any new legislation which handed greater power over the press to politicians or lawyers should worry anyone who is concerned for free flow of information and greater transparency. I don't often agree with David Cameron but in this case I think he is right and his critics are wrong.
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