The Belfast has done what The Spectator magazine did, and said NO to the Royal Charter. Paul Connolly of the Belfast Telegraph wrote here:
"It is a clear and decisive affirmation that we reject as a shabby deal the agreement cooked up between the three main UK political parties and the Hacked Off lobby group."
He further said:
"So, the Belfast Telegraph gave notice that it will not sign the Royal Charter which, in our view, opens the door for politicians potentially to neuter the Press for the first time in 300 years.Only a two-thirds majority is needed in the House of Commons to overturn the current plans and shackle the Press even further. It is not too difficult to imagine that happening in more illiberal times."
The editor, Mike Gilson gave his viewpoint here:
"We believe that the industry's plans present the best future for the press and for the protection of the public. As the current phone hacking trial shows, there are already effective laws in place for those who might stray beyond acceptable boundaries.The press must be responsible, cannot be above the law but must be free to make mistakes as well as hold the powerful and famous to account.
The Belfast Telegraph has a proud 143-year history of reporting the events in this part of the world without fear or favour. Signing up to this Royal Charter and its political interference would sell short the ideals of the newspaper. We do not intend to do that."