In a journalistic world already run by accountants, closer detail of Lord Leveson’s report raises concerns about a regulator with a similar lack of industry knowledge.
In the aftermath of the Leveson Report, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) says that forming an independent regulator brings with it certain risks that need careful consideration.
CIoJ President, Norman Bartlett said: “Local news was held up by Leveson for its exemplary work, but we have seen in the last few years how this side of our industry is struggling in the current economic environment. Those inside the industry know that this is largely due to accountants, who understand nothing of journalism, running the organisations.
“Now it is being threatened in a way that was never intended by the Leveson Inquiry. Any extra bureaucracy, legal burden and the potential for onerous fines could well drive many more to extinction.”
The CIoJ has already welcomed David Cameron’s initial comments warning about the perils of any laws brought in to regulate the press on any level.
Bartlett added: “We hope that the Prime Minister and the Culture Secretary stick to their guns and are not swayed by campaign groups that have a vested interest in hampering the Press. They appear to be ignorant of the fact that anything implemented at national level will filter through to local and regional newspapers, too.
“We must make sure that our Press freedoms are not jeopardised by the tiny proportion of law breakers who were working within the industry on the one hand, and the loud voices of celebrities with grudges to bear on the other.”