Bishop of Chelmsford: in a ‘post-truth’ era, proper regulation can offer newspapers salvation

On 20th December 2016, Lord Best moved that the House “take note of the Report from the Communications Committee Press Regulation: where are we now? (3rd Report, Session 2014–15, HL Paper 135)”. The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, who is a member of the Communications Committee, spoke in the debate.

Chelmsford 251115The Lord Bishop of Chelmsford My Lords, I too thank the noble Lord, Lord Best, for bringing this debate to the House and for his wise and winsome chairing of the Select Committee on Communications. I speak as a member of that committee. I was not part of the committee that produced this report—that illustrates just how long it has taken for it get here—so I also thank my predecessors on the committee for all their work.

However, as the report makes clear and as has been well illustrated by the contributions so far, the situation is far from satisfactory and questions to government remain unanswered. As the noble Lord, Lord Best, has already explained, in the past few weeks the committee has again been burrowing into the detail of the issues and considering the present impasse. I shall not go over those details again; the noble Lord outlined them superbly, but I think that we could conclude that the carrot is not very tasty and the stick seems so severe that it is unlikely ever to be wielded. Continue reading “Bishop of Chelmsford: in a ‘post-truth’ era, proper regulation can offer newspapers salvation”