ANALYSIS: BIG QUESTION; Should newspapers be subject to statutory regulation?

The Press Complaints Commission is reviewing the issue of invasion of privacy

The Press Complaints Commission is reviewing the issue of invasion of


Andrew Marr The Independent

‘If someone could frame a privacy law which distinguished between sex,

which I think should mostly be private, and money, allowing us to

investigate real corruption and scandal, I personally wouldn’t have a

problem with that. But there would have to be a strong public interest.

Even at this late, late hour I hope that self regulation can be made to


Peter Cunard Tolman Cunard

‘Absolutely no. Regulation means censorship. What is required is a tough

and sensible set of guidelines which editors buy into and a Press

Complaints Commission with real teeth and not a set of loose dentures.

We are all human and as a result vulnerable. A bit of thought, care and

decency would not go amiss and may even sell papers.’

Fiona McIntosh Company magazine

‘I think it is healthy to discuss privacy laws if only to remind the

tabloids of how close they sail to the wind sometimes. But ultimately I

believe in self regulation. It’s not as if there aren’t tough libel laws

in place already. You only have to look at the brilliant job the

Guardian has done in exposing Neil Hamilton to see how important it is

to protect the law as it stands now.’

Alex Johnston Freud Communications

‘If newspapers’ access to private dramas was denied by government

regulation, we’d be up in arms waving ‘censorship’ flags and feeling

like we were slaves to some giant information conspiracy. But the issue

arising from last week’s video hoax is as much about rival newspaper

camps trying to force themselves onto the news agenda as it is about

privacy. Diana is a soft target who played second fiddle to the Mirror

getting one over on the Sun. The punter surely deserves to get news -

not gratuitous one-upmanship. If anything needs regulating, it’s the

ever-bloated ego of the Mirror’s editorial staff.’

Diana Soltmann Millbank PR

‘Filming through people’s windows is appalling, like breaking into

someone’s home so I think the privacy issue needs to be looked at as

self regulation is not working. But there shouldn’t be regulation to the

extent of restricting freedom of speech and opinion.’

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