The crisis over Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper empire illuminates the structural crisis in Britain’s broken system of newspaper self-regulation. The closure of the News of the World, the crumbling of the edifice of obfuscations and lies erected over the past five years by News International to defend its indefensible activities, the widespread belief that more revelations about similar activities in other papers are yet to come and the manifest incompetence of self regulation in the British newspaper industry call for a radically different solution.
David Cameron, prime minister, rightly said that the Press Complaints Commission, the industry’s self-regulatory body, should be scrapped. But to create a new and better system there is a familiar dilemma about the regulation of newspapers, which must now be cut through. Continue reading »