The inter-party agreement on establishing a successor to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) merits two cheers, although further judgement must be suspended until the dust is settled.
Both the governing coalition parties and Labour have been anxious not to be seen as subjecting freedom of expression to political interference.
The majority of the media, certainly by circulation, has tried to smear the entire Leveson inquiry and subsequent developments as threatening state regulation of the media, which indicates how wrong it would have been to suggest a PCC Mark II in which proprietors and their editors hold sway.
A free media, even under restricted ownership and with a narrow political spread, is essential to a democracy. Political censorship is unacceptable.
However, it is equally unacceptable for rich and powerful media magnates and their mouthpieces to simply draw a line under the scandalous behaviour of significant sections of the press and to pledge to do better next time.
It would be an abdication of duty to the families who suffered so painfully at the hands of these irresponsibly powerful titles.
Those "thin end of the wedge" commentators who have already dug in their heels at the modest proposals agreed by the parliamentary leaders, calling them "a sad day for press freedom," are simply wrong.
The rich and powerful minority that has been assisted by spineless politicians to secure a stranglehold on the media through multiple cross-ownership will pay lip service to changing its ways, but it will justify any repetition of their newspapers' shabby deeds over phone-hacking in the pursuit of circulation and revenue.
This minority, which is wedded to self-regulation of the media, has been resolutely in favour of state regulation of the trade union movement, which has no record of such criminal behaviour.
The Sun's admission that it availed itself of illegally acquired messages from the stolen mobile phone of former junior minister Siobhain McDonagh suggests that the hacking story still has legs.
The mass media claims that it should be effectively unregulated because of its role as a watchdog on power, yet its investigative reporters failed to uncover the malignant growth at the heart of their own organisations.
Editorial staff did not blow the whistle, either because they had signed up to the "anything goes" philosophy or because of fears for their employment.
The National Union of Journalists is utterly correct to demand not only a democratisation of the process to set up a standards code, involving working journalists and members of the public, but also a conscience clause safeguarding their right to refuse to behave unethically.
Other issues will need to be considered, not least the sidelining of the Morning Star during government consultation with the newspaper industry.
David Cameron and his ministers made clear in parliamentary exchanges that refusal to invite our editor Richard Bagley was not an oversight.
It was deliberate.
In effect, this was political censorship of the media by the government on a par with the ongoing refusal of the BBC to recognise the Morning Star's existence in programmes dealing with press output.
None of the newspapers that have been so vocal over political control of the media has seen fit to criticise, or even note, this politically discriminatory behaviour.
It remains to be seen whether our paper will witness further partial treatment as the regulatory framework takes shape.
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