A Royal Charter for the Press: How does it measure up to regulation overseas?

Lara Fielden
Publication date: 
Wed, 29 May 2013

In this policy brief, published in conjunction with the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Lara Fielden examines the three key qualities Lord Justice Leveson recommended for future press regulation – that it is  ‘voluntary’, ‘independent’, and ‘self-regulatory’. These characteristics, which form the basis of the government’s draft Royal Charter, are explored within the instructive context of differing approaches to press regulation in a range of democracies overseas.
The author finds that any blurring of the boundaries between standards upheld by a code and rights upheld by the law will be a significant departure from regulatory systems elsewhere, but acknowledges that publicly recognizing and independently safeguarding voluntary ethical press standards represents a huge step forward in placing the public interest at the heart of regulation.