Independent body to regulate press needed
Sinn Féin MLA Alex said that what is needed after the Leveson inquiry is to see established an independent body that will aim to regulate the press with statutory powers of obligation.Alex Maskey said:
"There must be a fine balance struck between proper and effective regulation of the press and the suppression of free speech. There is also need for government to regulate the media to ensure that private individuals, or companies, do not stifle voices of opposition.
"The media market in Ireland is that of an oligopoly, concentrated in the hands of a few ultra-wealthy businessmen and big British media houses.
"The Leveson Inquiry in Britain illustrated the awesome power of a self-serving media mogul which chastened several British Prime Ministers. A healthier political culture and therefore healthier governance would significantly benefit from the diversity of competition within the media market. This is where the role of government lies.
"The only role the state should have in relation to broadcasting is to protect and preserve the openness and independence of the media. It is essential that there remains a free and open expression of ideas and comment.
"Previously the non-statutory and self regulatory practices that were in place proved to be deficient. What we need to see established is an independent body that will aim to regulate the press with statutory powers of obligation."