Leveson calls RISJ report “a monumental piece of work”

As Lord Justice Leveson grapples with the issue of how to regulate the press, his deliberations will be informed by a Reuters Institute report by Visiting Fellow Lara Fielden.

Regulating the Press: A Comparative Study of International Press Councils was the first comparative study of international press councils designed to inform the Leveson Inquiry into press standards, and to stimulate wider debate on UK media reform.

Lara Fielden interviewed the chairs and ombudsmen of a range of press and media councils across the world. She explains

I looked at a spectrum of regulatory approaches from statutory to voluntary. I compared a range of different sanctions, funding structures and governance models in play across the globe. But I also found each of the countries wrestling with common challenges, including the role and status of new media, and how to enable citizens to make informed choices about converging content across media platforms.

The report was her second RISJ publication. The first,Regulating for Trust in Journalism: standards regulation in the age of blended media, investigated the opaque and frequently conflicting standards required of broadcasting, video on demand, the printed press and wider online content. It also put forward proposals for a new, coherent regulatory framework across media.

Lara was closely questioned by Robert Jay QC and Lord Justice Leveson about her research during her oral evidence to the Inquiry in July. "I was delighted to find such interest from the Inquiry in my reports and their recommendations. With a new Communications Act on the horizon, as well as the conclusions of the Leveson Inquiry, it's a fascinating time to be working in this area."