Editors fear they would be shackled: Esther Oxford found there was little support for the proposals in the provinces, where investigations are seen as being threatened by censoring 'judges'

(First Edition)

EDITORS of regional papers yesterday gave their views on Sir David Calcutt's recommendations for statutory regulation of the press:

Keith Parker, Wolverhampton Express and Star:

am a member of the Press Complaints Commission. I have seen at first hand the enormous amount of work that the commission does in looking at every single complaint. At present the climate at the commission is one where editors really sit up and take notice of what people are saying. Our membership is voluntary and I think voluntary membership is the only way to create such a climate. We can't have a situation where 'judges' are appointed by the Government. That would amount to censorship.

'Bringing in such legislation would not only clip the wings of the tabloids; it would shackle local newspapers as much as nationals. Local papers spend a lot of time printing highly confidential reports from health and education departments - we print the stuff that no one else will touch. Often the sheer volume of these leaked reports put national newspapers off. It is down to the regional papers to do this kind of work but under the regulations this will become increasingly difficult.'

Andy Hughes, Sunderland Echo:

have always used our own judgement in the past to decide whether or not to print an apology for an inaccuracy. The system works in the majority of newspapers, the only trouble being the differing perceptions as to what is 'accurate' and what is 'inaccurate'. I don't think a government-

appointed statutory tribunal deciding for us would necessarily help matters.'

Nigel Hastilow, Birmingham Post:

'If the Government's policy passes you can be sure that such stories as the financial irregularities of the regional health authority or the 'goings on' in the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad would never see the light of day. These regulations are the thin edge of a wedge. If they are passed it will soon be possible to censor stories to the point where we become anodyne newspapers working on government handouts.'

Gerry Isaaman, the Hampstead and Highgate Express:

someone who has said that reforms could be brought in to curb the worst excesses of some people. I would support the law of trespass for example and the law against electronic surveillance. But you cannot legislate singularly for the press. Rules like this have to affect everyone - for instance the cowboy who sells insurance door-to-door as well as the man offering to Tarmac your front lawn. I think the proposals could do the Government great harm. The situation will create martyrs. Some journalists will go to prison if they believe strongly enough that their story is in the public interest.'

Bob Adams, Chester Chronicle:

'I think the regional papers are paying for the poor standards of tabloid reporting. Whenever I go out and about, local people bring up the subject of the Sun. I resent being made to feel responsible for the inaccuracies of the tabloids.

'These proposals are just another attempt to throttle the press, gag us and stop us doing a job as we see fit. I think that if the proposals come into force, regional papers in particular will be inhibited from investigative journalism.'

John Marquis, Falmouth Packet:

'The Government's proposals are an attempt to saw away at democracy. But the issue here is not so much one of the freedom of the press, as the more important right of the public to be informed. I seriously doubt that the proposals will come to pass. I don't think the British people will allow it.'

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
News
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
News
Andy Murray shakes hands after defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round of Wimbledon, Saturday 4 July, 2015
Wimbledon
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
News
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
News
Could Greece leave the EU?
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'