A group of award-winning documentary makers and broadcasters has rejected claims that statutory underpinning of press regulation would have a chilling effect on journalism.
In a letter to The Times, the group attacks the argument advanced by many newspaper editors that the statute recommended by Lord Justice Leveson could undermine free speech.
Peter Kosminsky, who makes fact-based TV dramas, organised the letter which was signed by 11 programme makers, including Greg Dyke, the former BBC director-general, Kevin Marsh, the former BBC Radio 4 Today programme editor, the impressionist Rory Bremner and Michael Apted, director of the Up! series which has traced the lives of 14 children, starting with Seven Up! In 1964.
The group say in the letter: "We are broadcasters with long experience of working within a far tighter regulatory system – underpinned by legislation – than Leveson envisages for the print media. While we make no comment on the detail of the Leveson plan, we would point out that our industry has a proud record of independent, challenging journalism — calling the rich and powerful to account without fear or favour."