Publishers come to the right conclusion on press regulation (probably for the wrong reasons)

It’s good news that press owners have belatedly come around to supporting a public consultation on the future of press regulation.

Could this be due to the fact that their backroom deal with politicians (see Royal Charter of 12 February) has been trumped by Hacked Off’s backroom deal with politicians (see Royal Charter of 18 March)?

It is difficult not to see the latest publisher-funded polling showing public support for a Royal Charter consultation as much more than a propoganda exercise, as Roy Greenslade notes, (who is going to disagree with being consulted?).

But nonetheless, such a consultation does offer the best way forward.

Most are probably bored to tears by the minutiae of the ongoing squabbles over a regulation regime which, whatever happens, won’t make a blind bit of a difference to the day-to-day work of the vast majority of journalists.

But one problem does affect us all – a continuing public crisis of confidence in the journalism industry as a whole since the hacking scandal.

A genuine public consultation, following by open and public negotiations to find a workable compromise on press regulation, offers the best way to start restoring the reputation of our trade.

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