Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 April 2014

Press 'reforms' will corrode our democracy

As people become disillusioned with our politicians and the flaws in our democracy, it is a free and open Press that stands between us and the tyranny imposed by a political class governed by the markets and naive populism.

The Royal Charter deal that enjoys cross-party consensus has no relevance to the illegal conduct of journalists and only serves to censor newspapers.

It is for the police to enforce the law – not quangos (a point Lord Justice Leveson fails to address with any conviction).

It may seem an exaggeration to some that the Press will no longer be able to function to the same high standard its people have taken for granted over three centuries, but just look at the rich and defiant history of our journalists, who have fought to keep our democracy flourishing – think the MPs' expenses scandal. The proposals in the Royal Charter deal will corrode this principle.

ANDY LOVATT

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