While those behind the plan claim "near universal support" from publishers, there has been very little public support, and very vocal concerns and objections presented by major news organizations. In addition, several international groups concerned with the state of press freedom around the world have expressed their reservations and concerns to the UK government.
This week it was time for another shot across the bow for media in the UK. UK Home Secretary Theresa May told a meeting of the Society of Editors that the BBC was competing unfairly with local newspapers by using their Broadcast License fee revenues to subsidize its Internet operations.
"If the BBC can, as they do, provide all the locally significant news, what is left to motivate the local community to buy a paper? It's destroying local newspapers and could eventually happen to national newspapers as well."She expressed concern that a dominant or monopoly news provider would be far too easily captured by special interests - perhaps forgetting that the BBC was the monopoly broadcast news provider for the UK for almost all of the 20th century.
In another speech to the Society of Editors, former BBC Chairman Lord Grade lambasted the new authority.
“The trouble is, that as soon as the politicians became involved, they did what politicians always do: they reached for the statute book — always the wrong answer where press regulation is concerned.”Even this early, it certainly looks like the British government's seeking to influence press operations and coverage. It will be interesting to see whether the government chooses control over freedom as these new UK press oversight and regulation efforts get established and implemented.
“That final session, where politicians of three main parties huddled in secret over pizza with (activist group) Hacked Off to agree the final draft of the royal charter, while the industry directly affected was unrepresented — that session was, to say the very least, counter-productive”.
Sources - Britain approves new press regulation system, newspapers cry foul, Reuters UK
Home Secretary warns BBC's internet dominance damages local media, The Drum
Lord Grade hits out at 'bonkers' press regulation charter, TheCourier.co.uk