Bloggers, tweeters and social networking sites will not be subject to the new press regulator, Downing Street have insisted.
Number 10 sources have moved to clarify the remit of the body, after the Prime Minister’s political spokeswoman earlier told reporters the Guido Fawkes’ blog would not be covered because it “is more gossip than news-related”.
The source said national newspapers and their online editions would be included, along with local newspapers and “online-only ‘press-like’ content providers” such as Huffington Post.
But Downing Street said bloggers, news aggregators, social networking sites like Twitter, hobby and trade titles, journals and not for profit community newspapers, including student papers, would not be covered.
This is not what is implied by the Schedule of Interpretation.
Remember the draft version?
The final version of the Royal Charter has the same definitions.
1. For the purposes of this Charter:
a) “Regulator” means an independent body formed by or on behalf of relevant publishers for the purpose of conducting regulatory activities in relation to their publications;
b) “relevant publisher” means a person (other than a broadcaster) who publishes in the United Kingdom:
i. a newspaper or magazine containing news-related material, or
ii. a website containing news-related material (whether or not related to a newspaper or magazine);
c) “broadcaster” means:
i. the holder of a licence under the Broadcasting Act 1990 or 1996;
ii. the British Broadcasting Corporation; or
iii. Sianel Pedwar Cymru;
d) a person “publishes in the United Kingdom” if the publication takes place in the United Kingdom or is targeted primarily at an audience in the United Kingdom;
e) “news-related material” means:
i. news or information about current affairs;
ii. opinion about matters relating to the news or current affairs; or
iii. gossip about celebrities, other public figures or other persons in the news.
We should always be wary when the LibLabCon agrees on something and all sides of it claim victory. The charter implies that blogs will be covered, Number 10 spokeswoman says they won’t be. Even if they were it’s unworkable and easily circumvented, and they probably know this. The whole thing may be challengeable anyway.
And let’s remember the role of Common Purpose in respect of Hacked Off, which was present throughout the weekend negotiations:
Lest we not forget, your audience is global, Tap!!!