For nearly 50 years until 2014 the press practised self-regulation: a Commission considered complaints from the public and issued adjudications. It was widely believed to be ineffective because it was controlled by the leading newspapers, who were the commonest offenders, and it had no effective sanctions. A series of scandals beginning with a criminal case in 2007 revealed serious intrusions into the lives of private individuals by newspapers, principally those connected with News International, the Murdoch group based on phone hacking - illegal accessing of mobile numbers. The government appointed a senior judge (Sir Brian, now Lord, Leveson) to inquire into the practices and regulation of the press. Levesons report, published in 2012, recommended the creation of a new regulatory body with power to impose stronger sanctions, in effect creating a system of registration for publications. After convoluted bargaining between newspaper interests and politicians a new non-statutory body, the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) has been created. But no consensus on regulation exists: three national newspapers (The Guardian, Financial Times and The Independent), together with the best-selling current affairs magazine, Private Eye, have declined to join IPSO.
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