British newspapers agree to regulator


The editor of The Telegraph Tony Gallagher (L) and the editor of The Independent Chris Blackhurst (R) arrive in Downing Street ahead of a meeting to discuss the regulation of newspaper conduct on December 4, 2012. Prime Minister David Cameron met with editors of major British newspapers following proposals set out by judge Brian Leveson in a major report into press ethics in Britain, conducted in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World.



Despite the earlier uproar surrounding Justice Brian Leveson's report on media regulation, the editors of British newspapers agreed to most of his recommendations at a summit in London on Wednesday.

The New York Times noted that the meeting was scheduled after Prime Minister David Cameron pressed the national newspapers to act on the Leveson report. The editors agreed to the establishment of an independent newspaper regulator, but stopped short of accepting Leveson's recommendation for a new law that would allow state-sanctioned oversight on media.

British newspaper the Guardian said the editors agreed to 40 out of Leveson's 47 recommendations, agreeing to wait and see what other proposals Cabinet Officer minister Oliver Letwin would offer as an alternative. The independent regulator would have the power to impose fines up to £1 million ($1.6 million).

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"What happened this morning was really quite remarkable," said Chris Blackhurst, the editor of The Independent, according to Agence France Presse. "I've never seen anything like it in my time as a journalist. We are all used to the sort of annual fisticuffs at press awards, and all the shouting matches, and we all hate each other."

The editors present at the talks were said to include The Sun's Dominic Mohan, the Daily Telegraph's Tony Gallagher, the Daily Mail's Paul Dacre, The Times' James Harding, Lloyd Embley from the Daily Mirror, Sunday Mirror and The People, and Dawn Neesom of the Star, according to the BBC.

The Leveson Inquiry was commissioned by Cameron in July 2011, after the phone-hacking scandal which led to Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid closing and dozens of arrests.

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