Press Regulation: where are we now? - Communications Committee Contents


1947-49First Royal Commission on the Press looks at press ethics and recommends a self-regulatory body of the press.
1953The General Council of the Press is created by the press.
1962Second Royal Commission on the Press looks at media ownership and economic issues. The General Council of the Press is replaced by the new Press Council.
1972The Younger Committee report on privacy is critical of the Press Council.
1974-77Third Royal Commission on the Press looks at editorial standards and freedom of choice for consumers. It suggests a new written Code of Practice. The Press Council rejects this.
1990The Government commissions Sir David Calcutt to Chair a Privacy Committee looking into press intrusion. The Privacy Committee recommends replacing the Press Council with a new Press Complaints Committee (PCC) underpinned by a new Code of Practice. The press is given 18 months to implement an improved self-regulatory regime.
1991PCC is set up with a Code of Practice.
1993Sir David Calcutt reports on the progress of the PCC. Though progress is made, he does not think it sufficiently in line with his original recommendations and recommends the introduction of a Statutory Press Complaints Tribunal. The Government does not act on this recommendation.
1993-95The House of Commons National Heritage Select Committee publishes a report on privacy and press intrusion. It makes recommendations on a new Statutory Press Ombudsman. The Government rejects these.
1997The death of Princess Diana leads to a substantial re-writing of the Code of Practice.
2003The House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee publishes a report on privacy and media intrusion. It acknowledges on-going improvements at the PCC, but makes some suggested changes to the Code on new technology and subterfuge, as well as more transparency on appointments.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) launches Operation Motorman looking into data protection offences. The press are found to be recipients of illegally obtained information.
2006The ICO publishes What Price Privacy? and What Price Privacy Now?, the latter listing the newspaper titles implicated in Operation Motorman.
2007Clive Goodman/Glenn Mulcaire are convicted with respect to the phone hacking scandal. The PCC publishes a report on the issue: Subterfuge and Newsgathering.
2009The Guardian phone hacking investigation takes place. The PCC publishes a further report in response: Phone Message Tapping Allegations (this is subsequently withdrawn on 6th July 2011).
Jan 2011Operating Weeting is launched.
July 2011Leveson Inquiry is announced. News of the World closes.
Oct 2011Baroness Buscombe resigns as Chair of the PCC.
Jan 2012During the Leveson Inquiry evidence is heard from the PCC and previous PCC staff, commissioners and chairs. Lord Hunt presents his proposals for a reformed PCC.
Mar 2012Lord Hunt announces the PCC is disbanding and its Director, Stephen Abell, departs.

Source: The Leveson Inquiry, Submission from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.[218]

218   The Leveson Inquiry, An inquiry in the culture, practices and ethics of the press, Submission from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 'Narrative on Press Regulation', Back

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