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Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

CIoJ backs rejection of proposed Royal Charter

The CIoJ has welcomed the rejection by most newspapers, national and local, of the Hacked Off-backed Royal Charter governing press regulation.

Institute president Charlie Harris said: “We have opposed state involvement in press regulation from the start and are glad that the trade bodies representing newspapers and magazines have joined us and other defenders of a free press such as Index on Censorship, the Spectator and Private Eye in rejecting the proposed charter.”

The Institute believes that the Government’s charter gives politicians an unacceptable degree of interference in the regulation of the press.

What the Government proposes may be light-touch, but it sets a dangerous precedent, allowing a future government to increase its control over the press, as Harriet Harman has indicated Labour might seek to do.

Harris added: “It is too early to say whether the draft charter tabled by the publishing industry is an acceptable alternative to the ‘official’ charter.

“But the Institute hopes that it will give the Coalition pause for thought and that Nick Clegg, the president of the Privy Council, will delay presenting the Government’s charter for royal assent to allow a full assessment of whether the new proposal has any merit.”