Press regulation: who watches the watchmen?

Press regulation: who watches the watchmen?

It is a little known fact that 37.6% of people who write about press regulation self-combust. The poor souls simply burst into flames the moment their fingertips start flitting around the keyboard. Indeed, the fear of upsetting a powerful and highly influential industry can trigger a reaction so severe in some people that spontaneous combustion is the natural (and grisly) response.

Well, this is certainly how it feels for many of the individuals and organisations who are involved in shaping the future of regulation in this area. The phone-hacking scandal, which is still playing out in the criminal courts, has led to a febrile atmosphere.

Add into the mix Lord Leveson's inquiry into the 'culture, practice and ethics' of the press and you have an even more potent brew. The UK has always had a complicated relationship with its press. This inquiry simply confirmed this fact.

As Lord Leveson said,

The press provides an essential check on all aspects of public life. That is why any failure within the media affects all of us. At the heart of this Inquiry, therefore, may be one simple question: who guards the guardians?

Indeed, who guards the guardians?

Every day there seems to be a different answer. Even so, let's have a look as to where we are now. What does the crystal ball say?

It is now expected that the Press Complaints Commission ('PCC') will close down in June (2014) to be replaced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). Originally, this was pencilled in for 1 May 2014 but, according to the Guardian, a large number of high quality applicants to chair the body came forward so the dates had to be changed.

But what of this new body generally: what have the reactions to it been?

To be fair, many people are a tad miffed about the whole thing.

For example, at the launch event of the Reclaim the Media event in Parliament on Monday night, it was

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