PCC 'alarmed' by Irish plans for press regulation

Proposals by the Irish Government to establish a statutory press regulation system have been attacked by independent press councils, including the UK’s Press Complaints Commission.

A meeting of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe, in Stockholm, has issued a statement responding “with alarm” to the proposals by the Irish Government.

The statement declared: “The proposed system would not only go against the trend in Europe – where independent rather than statutory press regulation is the norm – it would also diminish press freedom and undermine the independence of Irish newspapers.”

The NUJ in Ireland said it was disappointed to note the alliance’s call on the Irish Government “to work with the National Newspapers of Ireland towards the establishment of a truly independent press council” without any reference to the role of the trade union movement.

NUJ Irish secretary Séamus Dooley said: “We believe that a press council must be independent of state control, but if it is to have any credibility it must also operate in a truly independent manner.

“While media organisations will inevitably play a key role, it would be wrong if journalists, through their representative trade union, were to be excluded from any regulatory body.”

By Jon Slattery

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