Press self-regulation


It is heartening to read of concerted press vigorous rejection of political external governance. No-one can claim the free press is perfect. No human organisation can be. But it can appear, wrongly, that press members are above the law when clearly this is not the case as perpetrators of illegal phone hacking have found. It ill behoves politicians to constrain a free press when without such freedom one wonders if the MP's expenses scandal would ever have seen the light of day. 

When my profession, medicine, lost its self-regulated status some years ago a quondam president of the General Medical Council, its governing body, declared in a published interview that wherever medical self-regulation had been abandoned in other jurisdictions patient care standards had deteriorated. Never a truer word. Press freedom, warts and all, is too important to be left in the gift of politicians.

Dr Dermot J Ward
Chairman, Society of Clinical Psychiatrists.
4 Jubilee Terrace  Chichester  West Sussex  PO19 7XT 
Telephone 01243778716