An expert panel could be set up to study recommendations made in the Leveson report by next week, the First Minister has indicated.
Alex Salmond said he hopes the group, which would examine Lord Justice Leveson's recommendation for statutory regulation of the press, will be in place by the end of next week, with the aim of publishing its own report within about three months.
Mr Salmond's comments came after constructive talks were held with opposition politicians over a so-called Scottish solution to the Leveson report. Party leaders at Holyrood met Mr Salmond after his invitation to find a cross-party agreement on his suggestion for an expert panel to look at the issues raised.
The First Minister said "substantial progress" was made. He said: "With the exception of the Conservatives, who have reserved their position for further consideration, all parties in the talks today agreed to proceed with the establishment of an expert group that will provide advice on how Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations on the statutory underpinning of a self-regulated press could be applied in Scotland.
"Leveson, for understandable reasons as an English judge, outlined the view that some of his central recommendations may not be applicable in the Scottish context, so we require expert advice on how any statutory underpinning would be enabled in Scotland should it be decided that this was the best way forward.
"The expert group will be led by a current or former judge, and all parties that sign up to its formation can suggest potential additional members to provide their expert analysis.
"We agreed that it would be desirable for the expert group to be convened sooner rather than later and it is my hope that it will be in place before the end of next week with the aim of reporting within around three months."
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the expert panel "raises several questions". She said: "A panel which examines the practicalities and problems of introducing legislation to control the press is one thing, but a body designed to produce the basis for legislation is an entirely different proposition."
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: "Liberal Democrats want self-regulation of the press underpinned by law to provide for quick, simple and cheap redress for victims. Today is the first step on the road to achieving that goal."
Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, said: "It was a good discussion and I look forward to further meetings to agree a Scottish response to Leveson. The suggestion of an expert group is very sensible." Labour said it is too early to commit to anything and argued for a UK-wide solution.