Vox pop: What do the general public think about regulation of the press?

Hundreds of journalists and politicians are having their say on how the press should be regulated in the wake of the Leveson Report.
But what do people on the street think? Should the government regulate the press? Does the current self-regulation system need reform? Or was the Leveson Inquiry a waste of time – nothing needs to change?
Today, Press Gazette asked shop workers, builders and professionals around Fleet Street what they think. The question we posed was, broadly, should the Government take action to regulate the press?
Mike Morgan, 50, financial services
I don’t believe they should regulate the press. There must be freedom of the press – it is as simple as that.
A balance must be struck between what happened with the News of the World and government regulation.
I think the phone-hacking was really bad, but there does need to be a measured response.
Brian Vickers, 54, runs an electric company
There should be a free press. They should be allowed to say what they want. The public have a right to know what is going on.
The bad practices of the press are the minority – a lot more truth comes out from a free press.
Jess Heaney, 21
There must be freedom of speech – otherwise we would be living under a dictatorship.
You have to take everything you read with a pinch of salt. Most of the time they do get it right.
The press should regulate itself.
Peter Harris, 47, sales
Yes, there should be press regulation.
I think the consequences of no regulation does a lot more damage that the downside of regulation.
Just last week the hoax phone call to the hospital where the Duchess of Cambridge was staying – that shows that you do need regulation.
Egle Venckute, 22, coffee shop worker
Press regulation should be more active but it should be self-regulated.
I come from Lithuania where the press is fairly regulated, more so than here. In Britain there is too much press, it is hard to know what to believe.
It would be better to have a smaller amount of press that is more controlled.
Louis Mourlan, 26, café worker
The responsibility is partly in the readers. People should read between the lines of what the press say and make their own decisions. People could have more privacy if they are careful.
Self-regulation is better. The press should be able to say what they want, and then they can be more honest.
The government should not have anything to do with the press.

Seher Akbar, 27, optician worker

Yes there should be press regulation.Newspapers should respect people’s privacy and treat them like they are humans. Not always doing that in the past.
Law would hopefully improve the press. I don’t want to read certain things in the news, like about famous people, but then that’s amusement.
I think the government regulating the press would be better than newspapers doing it themselves.
Barry Ridyard, 33, builder
I don’t really read newspapers.
They should regulate some of it – private lives should be kept private.
I think they do need some form of governing body. Otherwise the press would just do what they like.
Regulation should have been in place a long time ago.
Kathryn Dunne, 56, legal secretary
I don’t think the press should be regulated.  
There should be a free press in this country – I think the press can regulate itself.
The moment you start constraining the press you get an oppressed country.
The whole issue of the Australia hoax call – that will shock everyone and I am sure they will be more careful in the future.

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