19 March 2013

Press regulator to cover blogs?

In all the publicity about the all party agreement on a new press regulator, the detail of the actual proposal has been somewhat overlooked.  Here's what the draft Royal Charter says (Schedule 4):

(b) “relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom:
i.a newspaper or magazine containing news related material, or
ii. a website containing newsrelated material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine);
d) a person “publishes in the United Kingdom” if the publication takes place in the United Kingdom or is targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom;
e) “news related material” means:
i. news or information about current affairs;
ii.opinion about matters relating to the news or current affairs; or
iii.gossip about celebrities, other public figures or other persons in the news
It's clear that bloggers would fall within the regulators remit (as indeed could your local Focus Editor) - so let's hope that the whatever 'statutory underpinning' emerges after the parliamentary debate clarifies who exactly is being regulated - because if it does involve bloggers I expect the new regulator will be kept very busy dealing with trivia.


  1. See Hansard for the quite different definition of "relevant publisher" to which the statutory penalties for non-participation will apply:

  2. Thanks anon - it's clear that the scope of the regulator needs to be clarified. Whether it will be is another matter.