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British papers need oversight, report says page 2


 Protesters who want media-reform legislation outside the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London.
Sang Tan/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Date published: 11/30/2012

continued

He said the new body should be composed of members of the public including former journalists and academics--but no more than one serving editor, and no politicians. It should have the power to rule on complaints, demand prominent corrections in newspapers and to levy fines of up to 1 million pounds ($1.6 million), though it would have no power to prevent material being published.

Membership would be voluntary, but newspapers would be encouraged to join in part to stave off expensive lawsuits--the regulator would handle complaints that currently end up in court.

The proposal is similar to the system operating in Ireland, where a press council and ombudsman were set up in 2008 to make the print media more publicly accountable.

"I welcome Lord Leveson's report and hope it will mark the start of a new era for our press in which it treats those in the news responsibly, with care and consideration," said Kate McCann, who was the subject of intense press interest after her 3-year-old daughter Madeleine disappeared during a holiday in Portugal in 2007.


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