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Journalists’ body challenges use of Royal Charter

Plans to create a Royal Charter as part of an overhaul of the press regulation system have been criticised by the Chartered Institute of Journalists.

The professional body for journalists is challenging the government over the plans, claiming it has failed to take into account the Institute’s own charter which was granted by Queen Victoria in 1890, giving it a duty to uphold ethical and professional standards in journalism.

Currently two proposed charters have been submitted to the Privy Council for consideration – one with cross-party support from politicians and an alternative one from the industry.

CIoJ president Charlie Harris said: “How can any proposal for a Royal Charter which ignores an existing charter make any sense or give the public any confidence that this is a credible way forward? To that end, we have submitted our own challenge to both the Department of Culture Media and Sport and the Privy Council.”

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists has objected to the Royal Charter proposed by publishers for press regulation, saying it would place too much power in the hands of the industry.

In a submission to Culture Secretary Maria Miller, the union says the plans attempt to protect the interests of the newspaper proprietors and editors and would essentially be a ‘Press Complaints Commission Mark II’.