Section 40 of the Data Protection Bill will probably not mean a great deal to many people but could have had dire consequences for print journalism in this country.
Labour had proposed an amendment which would have seen newspapers like the one I work for have to pay both sides of a libel bill, no matter if we won the case or how frivolous the complaint was.
We could have avoided that, by signing up to a state regulator IMPRESS set up by former F1 boss Max Moseley and funded by private benefactors.
So would we like to shoot ourselves in the head or shoot ourselves in the foot? Either way the gun was loaded in favour of those with something to hide.
The nationals may, in time, have reluctantly signed up knowing they had the money to cut through the issues.
But I work for a local family publisher, any money we do make in a tough marketplace is reinvested
in our product.
The rise of the internet and social media means people’s needs are changing and the days of picking up the local paper for all your news are gone. We have had to adapt and keep up and we are doing our best.
This amendment would have meant bad news for local journalism, so often the first port of call for people’s stories of heartache, betrayal and the quest for truth.
But on a national level it would have heavily influenced investigative journalism with editors having to think hard before green lighting a scoop which may have taken months to prepare for fear of costing the company millions.
Think of the disgraceful Rotherham sex abuse scandal, MPs expenses, Cambridge Analytica, Lance Armstrong’s doping and even the Stephen Lawrence case.
Some of those huge stories may never have seen the light has these measures been put in place.
Journalism is a privilege, you have a seat at many important moments and often are rewarded with many special memories to treasure.
But with such power comes a responsibility to print the truth, to do so ethically and to always put people first.
Bad apples at the top forgot about their readers when they hacked phones and printed sheer lies in the desperate bid for sales.
A line was crossed but the solutions imposed since are a one size fits all answer to a cancer which many of us had no knowledge of until the scandal broke.
Change is needed and of course journalism should be regulated, but it should always be free to expose those who have genuinely done wrong.
Is there a solution which will please everyone? I hope so because I believe in my industry, I believe there will be a place for journalism in the future.
What form it takes is unknown thanks to the digital world we live in but one thing will never change.
We don’t exist without the support of our readers, that’s something we all need to remember.