- The Washington Times - Monday, March 18, 2013

The United Kingdom’s three main political parties have struck a deal for more regulations on the media — a government backlash of a months-long investigation that found journalists had illegally hacked into thousands of telephone conversations.

The deal could crumble; some final details still need to be hashed out, BBC reports. But the gist of the agreement is this: The parties will establish a new watchdog group aimed at overseeing the press.

The main sticking point was whether the group would be legislatively created. Prime Minister David Cameron didn’t want the appearance of lawmakers overseeing the press, BBC reported. Labour and Liberal Democrat officials, however, wanted the watchdog group to have legislative backing, BBC said. What’s come of the tri-party talks is a watered-down version of the proposal, where each side can claim a political win.

Specifics of the watchdog group are not yet released. But BBC gives a hint at the group’s powers: “If the press get something wrong, the regulator can direct them to correct it,” BBC quoted one party official as saying.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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