Sebastian Payne

‘Small-scale’ bloggers hear the chimes of freedom

Bloggers of the United Kingdom rejoice – an exemption from the all-new press controls looks to be on the way. We are waiting today to see if any of the amendments tabled on Friday will pass but the Financial Times reports (£) that cross-party talks over the weekend will result in a successful amendment on blogging:

‘Tri-party talks took place over the weekend to agree a wording for an amendment to the crime and courts bill which will be discussed in the House of Lords on Monday.’

At some point, that is. The amendments are being considered in the Lords right now but there has been no sign of anything from the government. According to the FT, it appears nothing concrete has been agreed and neither the amendments tabled by Lord Lucas or Stevenson will pass:

‘While neither of these amendments are expected to be approved, the Tories, Liberal Democrats and Labour all agree that the current royal charter setting up the new press regulatory system is too draconian in respect of its remit.’

As Guido has outlined, these continued changes pose an ever-greater authority challenge for the press regulation plans. Now the Economist and New Statesman have joined the resistance — the editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger has also written a considered piece today calling for a go-slow on regulation — the stature of the Royal charter is waning. A letter placed in Saturday’s Guardian by several prominent political bloggers highlighted worries across the spectrum at the current blogging plans and raised the threat of bloggers going rogue.

Considering the haphazard circumstances the agreement was pulled together in — see James’ report in the Mail on Sunday for an inside view — it is likely more challenges and threats will be thrown at the proposals.

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