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Meyer in warning over privacy law threat

Outgoing PCC chairman Sir Christopher Meyer will tonight issue a challenge to the newspaper industry to do more to tackle the threat of a privacy law.

He says the press must “raise its game” if it is to ensure that self-regulation remains the “preferred model of content regulation.”

In a speech at the Manchester Art Gallery, Sir Christopher Meyer will say that the current good record on self-regulation is ‘not enough.’

“The challenge to the PCC and to the press is obvious. We must all raise our game. That means thinking creatively how, in this intensely fluid environment, self-regulation can deliver the goods more effectively,” he will say.

“It is not divinely ordained that our system of regulation is here for all eternity. It has its enemies. There are other, competing models.

“The aim must be to show beyond all doubt not only that the PCC’s model of independent regulation, with its unique ability rapidly to adjust to developments, is the one best suited for the age of online publishing, but that also…increasingly preferable to litigation.”

Sir Christopher will also call for newspapers, magazines and websites to do more to publicise the PCC, and warn that media discontentment with the Human Rights Act should not tempt them to think that a Parliament-enacted privacy law would be the answer.

He will be hosting the dinner in Manchester with the board of the Press Complaints Commission ahead of a meeting tomorrow, at which the PCC will discuss further how self-regulation should move forward against the backdrop of the developing privacy law.

  • Read Sir Christopher’s speech in full.