10/08/2013 12:16 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

UK will seek government-backed press watchdog after officials reject newspaper self-regulation

LONDON - Britain's media secretary says that officials will seek a government-backed watchdog to oversee the country's scandal-tainted press, saying that officials had rejected a last-ditch proposal by newspapers to regulate themselves.

Maria Miller told lawmakers Tuesday that the newspaper industry's proposals had been rejected, paving the way for the government's favoured approach.

The new regulatory body is meant to be independent of government control but will still have official blessing.

Proponents say that the government backing is necessary to keep the body from being manipulated by Britain's press, whose reputation took a beating following revelations of mass eavesdropping, corruption, and computer hacking.

Opponents say the watchdog opens the way for politicians to censor the country's traditionally rambunctious media.