The Press Complaints Commission has a new chair, Baroness Buscombe. Her maiden speech in this position basically follows these lines:
- I’m a Tory peer
- I don’t like regulation all that much, not like the government (boo hiss)
- It was hard being in Opposition
- It was good for the press to lay into MPs about expenses
- The freedom of the press is very important
- But you can be wrong sometimes, like when you criticise us in the House of Lords
- Because the House of Lords is great at attacking the government when you in the media don’t
- Self regulation is a good thing, and the PCC is marvellous, democratic even
- But even though we shouldn’t bring in more press regulation, the internet is too free
- Search engines and news aggregators are thieves
- Google are bad because they think of the end users instead of us content providers
And thus the idea was born that the PCC should get involved in regulating more than just the newspaper industry. Blogs, it would seem, should come under their umbrella. Given how useless the PCC is, and how poorly the press seem to be doing at the job of not lying to us, I think it’s a bit of a cheek to think that they have anything to offer.
Liberal Conspiracy are running a letter, which anyone can sign, to object to the idea of extending the PCC’s remit to blogs or other media.