Letters to the Editor - 10/10 - Press freedom, Best of Twitter

Press freedom

[Re: Coalition rejects media’s bid for self-regulation, yesterday]

A free and independent press is the most effective, economical and accessible tool we have to secure and defend the interests of ordinary people. I may be unusual in this, but I would sooner trust the press than politicians. Britain already has among the toughest anti-press laws in the West – they would be unconstitutional in the US. And the cross-party proposals introducing political interference will make this situation far worse. One motive may be that politicians from all parties were caught helping themselves to taxpayers’ money in a scandal whose reporting some tried hard to suppress. It is as though politicians cannot look at an industry in which Britain has long led the world without doing it down. This may explain Helen Grant MP’s proposals to open papers further to libel action with little or no cost to litigants. I worked for a time in newspapers and know how hard most journalists try, and how costly it is to maintain standards. That political leaders work with aggrieved film stars and technocrats to attack free speech in my name is breathtaking. That together they seek to impose their views on what I can and cannot read is something I never thought I would see in Britain.

Peter Curtain

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