Regulation of the press

Written evidence submitted by D C Thomson & Co Ltd [ROP 005]

Once again thank you for inviting me to your Committee.

I have sent this letter to you by post and copied to Ben and Paul as before out of courtesy. I hope that is in order. I also have sent to Maria Miller.

Our conclusion is, and our final thoughts on this, (having thought about it long and hard and listened carefully to every view from almost all the participants, in as measured and independent a way as possible), are that the Royal Charter as put forward by the newspaper people seems to be the only one that has the flexibility which is desperately needed and the structure and absence of parliamentary or statutory oversight which will enable proprietors of any publications to have the confidence in huge numbers (all or almost all as we understand it) to be able to sign up and do the job that Parliament clearly wishes us to do.

If this was to be approved by Parliament, then I can assure you that we will do everything we can to make it a resounding success. I have of course read Brian Levesons report from cover to cover and it is a tremendous work and I think that what is proposed by the Royal Charter by newspapers will work and achieve everything he wished in practice. Nothing or very little is perfect, but I believe we can make it work.

We are completely independent on this since we are only associate members of the NS (We have only ever attended one meeting that I can recall in my life which was relatively recently by request and by invitation to me to hear and air views) and we are not as far as I am aware members of the National Newspapers body the NPA. We are members however of the SNS (Scottish Newspaper Society). However, we look at matters of Governance (such as this) and the most important matters (such as this) NOT as part of any Committee of Publishers or Industry body. We look at this as a totally Independent Publisher as if with no allegiance, and this is our conclusion.

June 2013

Prepared 19th June 2013