Is the press perfect – no. Does it sometimes go over the top – yes. Does the press sometimes try to make the news rather than reporting it – yes. Can the press sometimes be irritating – yes. Does the press sometimes break the law – yes.
All wrong doings of the press can be punished under existing self regulation or the current law or by all of us not buying the papers.
Should we allow the state to regulate the press – absolutely NO. The press needs to be free. Free to challenge, irritate, investigate and hold all public figures to account.
A free press protects all of us from bad people doing bad things. Bad people can only do bad things if good people let them. A free press can help identify bad people, bad actions and can also help galvanise good people to stand up for good.
The press do need to behave better not because of legislation but because they ought to behave better. Legislation is dangerous and probably very difficult to regulate. How will the Internet be viewed?
I am always wary of sweeping new rules just because a few sometimes break the existing ones.