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Paul Dacre Calls for News Media Industry Unity to Combat Threats to Press Freedom

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre has called for the news media industry to unite in the face of multiple threats to press freedom.

As reported by the Newspaper Society: Speaking at a reception to mark the 175th anniversary of the NewstrAid Benevolent Fund this week, Mr Dacre said there were many issues that required the industry to be united “if we are to survive and prosper” and pass on the “precious heritage of a free, fearless press” to the next generation.

Mr Dacre listed the various threats to the industry and press freedom which included the Government’s Royal Charter for regulation of the press, misuse of RIPA legislation, the so-called right to be forgotten ruling in Europe, and the undermining of copyright protection.

He continued: “And finally the dark warnings of some politicians that once the election is out of the way, they’ll be back to finish what they began with Leveson and impose the so-called “will of Parliament” on our industry for the first time since 1695.

“These and many other issues require our industry to be united if we are to survive and prosper, and if we are to be able to pass onto the next generation that precious heritage of a free, fearless press that we inherited from our forefathers.

“The time is right to put the past behind us and move on, aware of the tough fights ahead. And I hope we can do so in the same spirit that we come in together today to support great causes such as this one.”

Mr Dacre said: “To the police and politicians, made so suspicious of the press by Leveson, I would argue that it’s in all our interests to drop hostilities and to try to restore the mutual respect we should have for each other and which is an important ingredient in a healthy democracy."

Speaking about the launch of IPSO Mr Dacre said: “There may be some who think that in creating the toughest regulator in the free world we have perhaps gone too far. But I believe the industry had to do it, I’m proud we’ve done it - and now we leave it up to the integrity and sound judgment of Sir Alan and his team.”