Regional Newspaper Journalists Maintain Highest Standards of Their Profession; as the Leveson Inquiry Continues Its Investigations into Media Regulation, Lord Hunt, the New Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, Tells PADDY SHENNAN His Views on Regional Newspapers

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), November 25, 2011 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Regional Newspaper Journalists Maintain Highest Standards of Their Profession; as the Leveson Inquiry Continues Its Investigations into Media Regulation, Lord Hunt, the New Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, Tells PADDY SHENNAN His Views on Regional Newspapers


Byline: PADDY SHENNAN

FORMER Cabinet minister Lord Hunt knows a thing or two about newspapers, having written for them and - more often - having been written about by them constantly during his many decades in public life.

And now, as the newly appointed chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, he is at the forefront of helping to craft and create a confident future for this nation's newspapers - at a time when they are under enormous scrutiny.

Baron Hunt of Wirral, who represented the Wirral constituency as a Conservative MP between 1976 and 1997, was particularly keen to praise the great value and importance of regional newspapers during an exclusive interview.

He said: "The editors' code of practice says all members of the Press have a duty to maintain the highest professional standards and, as far as I am concerned, the regional Press has always done that.

"I have known many individuals in the regional Press and they always do maintain the highest professional standards. I don't think in my 35 years in Parliament I have come across any instance where anyone fell below those standards.

"The first section title in the code of practice is accuracy - that's key - and I see all of the provisions in the code as being part and parcel of, and in the genes and fabric of, the being of the regional Press."

And he added: "When you look back at all the key stories that have developed, they had their origin, usually, in regional papers."

In the light of the phone-hacking scandal that enveloped and then brought down Rupert Murdoch's News of the World, there have been calls from some for the self-regulatory PCC to be replaced by a statutory body - something that Lord Hunt believes would have grave consequences for our society, even though he, himself, has been on the receiving end of harsh Press treatment during his career.

Themanwho served asamember the the of the Cabinet during both Margaret Thatcher's and John Major's administrations said: "I've always had fair treatment from local newspapers, but the nationals do tend to carry very critical pieces when you are in public life."

And yet he insisted: "I have always believed passionately in the freedom of the Press. People often forget that our free Press is one of this country's greatest assets and is envied across the world.

"I don't want the state and I don't want politicians interfering with freedom of expression. I attended a meeting where people were arguing for state regulation and I just asked them to think 'Who would be applauding?' When they didn't answer I said our Chinese cousins would be delighted if we were to introduce state regulation."

But he quickly to added: "While it's a right, freedom of expression carries with it a heavy responsibility.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Regional Newspaper Journalists Maintain Highest Standards of Their Profession; as the Leveson Inquiry Continues Its Investigations into Media Regulation, Lord Hunt, the New Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, Tells PADDY SHENNAN His Views on Regional Newspapers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?