The British press should have an independent regulator, underpinned by law, and with the power to fine, Judge Brian Leveson recommended in a long-awaited report sparked by a phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World tabloid.
Media moguls were anxious to see if Leveson would recommend that the current system of self-regulation -- widely regarded as having failed -- would continue, or whether he would call for a new independent regulator or statutory regulation to rein in the worst excesses of Britain's press.
The trigger was the allegation that in 2002, the voice mail of a missing 13-year-old girl, Milly Dowler, had been hacked by an investigator working for the News of the World newspaper before the child was found murdered. Compounding the anger was the claim (later dismissed by police) that messages were deleted by him from the schoolgirl's full voice mail box, giving her parents false hope that she was alive.
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