Leveson ‘is on the right track’

Rules:Michael Williams
Rules:Michael Williams
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A Preston-based media experts says his students have given the thumbs up to calls for tighter press regulation.

Speaking as the results of the Leveson Inquiry into newspaper standards were unveiled, Michael Williams from the school of journalism at the University of Central Lancashire said young people were ”very moral.”

The senior lecturer in print and online journalism at UCLan, which is Britain’s largest journalism school, said: “Leveson has called for self-regulation, underpinned by an independent body. He doesn’t want full scale state regulation.

“I think this is probably on the right track but both sides ( for and against regulation) are so polarised; those who want total self-regulation and at the other end there are people saying everything has got to be totally controlled.

“Levenson is taking the middle road. I and happy to see that but I hope, as Leveson said himself, that he report doesn’t just sit collecting dust on the bookshelves.”

Mr Williams’ specialisms include modules on the Future of Journalism and the Ethics of Journalism for postgraduates and final year undergraduates.

He has previously written for the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman as well as running his own media company and blog, and is a former deputy editor of The Independent on Sunday and head of news and features at The Sunday Times.

The lecturer said he believed aspiring journalists would welcome some form of legislation and added that a spot survey among media students at UCLan revealed two-thirds of them would welcome some sort of legislationt. He added: “This flies it the face of what the newspaper industry has been saying.

“ Young people are very often quite moral and want to be responsible journalists. There is a new attitude of fairness.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said he had “serious concerns and misgivings” over statutory regulation but broadly welcomed Lord Justice Leveson’s report.