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UK newspaper editors defend standards

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 01:53

Jan.10 - UK broadsheet editors have told the Leveson Inquiry into press standards about their papers' codes of conduct, as Downing Street announces David Cameron will give evidence if asked. Ciara Sutton reports

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UK broadsheet editors have taken to the stand as part of the Leveson Inquiry into press standards. Editors from The Independent, The Telegraph and the Financial Times were asked about their papers' ethical conduct. FT Editor Lionel Barber said attention to his company's code of conduct was essential for a publication which can influence the financial market. SOUNDBITE, FINANCIAL TIMES EDITOR LIONEL BARBER, SAYING: "I think the FT should be the gold standard in journalism. And that means we need to uphold the highest standard of practice, and the highest standard of integrity. And that is why we have the investment register and why we want to have full compliance from our journalists." Downing Street has announced that David Cameron will give evidence at the inquiry if summoned. Reports say that Lord Justice Leveson is almost certain to call the Prime Minister to the stand. He would be questioned about his dealings with media executives. The PM employed Andy Coulson, former editor of the now defunct News of the World, as director of communications. Coulson resigned from the position in 2011 amid continued pressure over phone hacking. When asked about the relationship between the press and politicians, Barber said it had been a big concern in the past. SOUNDBITE, FINANCIAL TIMES EDITOR LIONEL BARBER, SAYING: "You needed to have someone very close to you as prime minister or as chancellor, who understood the tabloid press. And these people assumed the role of almost policy makers. Now this I would suggest is a little bit dangerous." David Cameron set up the inquiry in response to revelations that the NotW commissioned the phone hacking of a murdered schoolgirl 2002. The first part of the inquiry is looking at the culture, practices and ethics of the press in general. Ciara Sutton, Reuters.

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UK newspaper editors defend standards

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 01:53