Fit to print?

Love it or hate it, the Daily Mail has a huge readership both in print and on its website. So aware of its worldwide audience is the Mail that its website, when viewed within the United States of America, produces a whole new tranche of sensationalist, audience-winning and, yes, cleverly-written stories aimed specifically at that country’s population. One need only take a short hop across the border to Canada to type the same address in one’s browser, then to be greeted once more by the familiar UK front page.

Paul Dacre, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, spoke passionately on Wednesday morning about the progress of press reporting standards in the UK, and also awakened the spectre of a straitjacketed press should Parliament vote for compulsory press regulation:

News, let me remind you, is often something that someone – the rich, the powerful, the privileged – doesn’t want printed…. Indeed, I would argue that Britain’s commercially viable free press – because it is in hock to nobody – is the only really free media in this country. Over regulate that press and you put democracy itself in peril.

Paul Dacre’s speech is on-line here, at The Guardian’s website.

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