Regulation and control


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Regulation and control

  1. 1. Regulation and ControlAims and ObjectivesIntro to the current PCCOverview of the PCCRead HistoryDiscussion of The PCC and the reasons for the Levenson InquiryUse Case Studies...Is Self Regulation Working? Why is Regulation and Control of the Media Important?
  2. 2. What is the PCCPress Complaints CommissionIs an independent body that administers a system a selfregulation for the press self regulating vs. state regulation Self-regulation means that the industry or profession rather than the government is doing the regulation. In contrast: State or statutory regulations means an act of law or a government body regulates the industryArgumentsThe British press operates an important position as the fourth estate.The press is there to challenge parliament and act in the public interest.
  3. 3. Use the PCC to Discover the Meaning of these Terms What is libel? What is contempt of court? What is a super injunction? (Human Rights Act 1998)What Do These Cases Inform Us Of?High profile cases - Imogen Thomas - Injunctions / Twitter.Christopher Jefferies - LibelThe Sun & The Mirror - Contempt of court
  4. 4. RememberIn the UK there are different regulatory bodies some which are regulated by the state i.e. OFCOM which is regulated by a government body and then you have PCC and BBFC which are self regulating. Both the BBFC and OFCOM have a statutory duty to regulate, but one is regulated by the government the other industry proffesionals.Question 1.: What is the difference between self regulation and regulation?Questions 2: What are the arguments for and against regulationQuestion 3: How can we have some media which are self regulated and others which are regulated by the state?Question 4: In an era of the world wide web with global access, and Web 2.0 is regulation possible at all?
  5. 5. Self regulation and regulationSelf-regulation means that the industry or profession rather than the government is doing the regulation. In contrast: State or statutory regulations means an act of law or a government body regulates the industryRECAPIn order to understand the present media you have to understand its pastThe British press operates an important position as the fourth estate.The press is there to challenge parliament and act in the public interest.TV, historically emerged during the world war II period, and because of its power as a vehicle for propaganda was deemed too important to be self regulated. In its current state OFCOM regulates TV and has statatury legal powers and so does the BBFC, but PCC and BBFC are self regulating and Ofcom is a government body.
  6. 6. Arguments against state regulation· British press operates an important position as the fourth estate.· The press are there to challenge parliament and act in the public interest.· Journalists often use the ʻpublic interest defenceʼ as a defence to publish information.· The media needs to be free to protect and promote the rights of freedom of expression and information, not provide an opportunity for public officials to interfere in or harass the media
  7. 7. UK regulation and the press· Print media in the UK is not subject to any specific statutory controls on their content and activities, other than the general criminal and civil law. Criminal and Civil law is important as newspapers can be sued for libel and also a lot of celebrities bring civil law cases against newspapers.·· At present the PCC is self regulated this means that it is regulated by an independent, non-statutory body that is responsible for maintaining an Editorial Code of Practice and investigating complaints into alleged breaches of the Code.··· The PCC is a voluntary self-regulatory system, has resisted state control but their is an uneasy balance, with some pushing for a statutory alternative that has powers enshrined in law.
  8. 8. ContinuedThe 1990 Calcutt report recommended the setting up of a new Press Complaints Commission toreplace the Press Council. The new Commission would be given 18 months to prove non-statutoryself-regulation could work effectively and if it failed to do so, then a statutory system would beintroduced.The press rose to the challenge. The PCC was set up at the beginning of 1991 and at the sametime a team of national and regional editors produced the Code of Practice for the newCommission to administer.However, in his first report of 1993, the late Sir David Calcutt complained of the ineffectiveness ofthe PCC and called for statutory regulation. The Government delayed responding until 1995, whenNational Heritage Secretary Virginia Bottomley rejected regulation, proposing instead a series ofreforms to the PCC.Following the death of Princess Diana in 1998, the PCC came under pressure to reform again, andthe Code was revised again to better protect privacy and to take account of the Youth Justice andCriminal Evidence Act 1999.To date the Code has been revised 30 times since it was first published. The latest amendmentwas made to the Accuracy clause in January 2011.
  9. 9. PCC CodeLINK or available at iPCC is an ethical rather than legal code, and has no legal power in contrastto Ofcom and the BBFC.
  10. 10. Princess Dianaʼs death what people said: Arguments for regulation?The death of Princess Diana caused a public outcry with people blaming journalists, andjournalists blaming the paparazzi. After her death radical changes to the PCC code wereintroduced such as rules about an individuals private life, the treatment of children andharassment.At the time Lord Spencer, Dianaʼs brother asked for privacy to be recognised as a human right andsaid it would be a fitting tribute to his sister if the old ways of tabloid journalism died with her.The chairman of the Press Complaints Commissions code committee, Sir David English, chairmansaid "The tragic death of Diana, Princess of Wales has focused unprecedented public attention onpress intrusion, harassment and respect for privacy. As those charged with defining the Code ofPractice which sets the benchmarks for the ethical and professional standards of journalism, werecognise this. We are now undertaking an urgent review of the code. As an industry weemphasise the need for the code to be followed not just in the letter but in its full spirit.“
  11. 11. Global impact of the PCCʼs decisionLord Wakeham said when the proposals would be introduced "no longer be a market forpictures taken by the sort of photographers who persistently pursued Princess Diana". Buthe added that the problem remains a global one. The proposals include a new obligation toeditors to check how pictures were obtained and measures to prevent so-called mediascrums, caused by large numbers of journalists working at the same time. The presentsection of the code on privacy is expected to be re-drawn, with a definition of an individualsprivate life for the first time.The problem with this just because the PCC is regulated does not mean other countrieshave the same regulation, and with the internet people can publish what they want. WEB 2.0
  12. 12. Privacy law and EU lawBefore and just after Dianaʼs death the UK had no such thing as a privacy law unlikeother countries, this meant journalist could photograph celebrities and invade theirprivate life.This all changed with the inclusion of EU lawArticle 8 of the ECHR, (European Convention Human Right) Right to respect for privateand family life states that:1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and hiscorrespondence.2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this rightexcept such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic societyin the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of thecountry, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, orfor the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
  13. 13. Privacy Vʼs public interestThis meant for the first time Journalists had a new regulator and thatwas privacy law, now came the battle of privacy vʼs public interest, EUlaw vs. the British press. You can use these in your exam.Important cases for privacyPrincess DianaThe killers of Jamie BulgerNaomi CampbellJK RowlingMax MosleyJohn TerryMadeleine McCannJan Moir Daily mail
  14. 14. Media Standards Trust criticism The Media Standards Trust weighed into the debateadding that the PCC should not have serving editors on itsboard and revealing that newspaper and magazine editorsare not bound to follow advice from the PCC. Furthermorefigures from the 2008 PCC Annual Report indicate that ofthe 4698 complaints that were brought only 45 wereadjudicated. Even though the PCC claim that aconsiderable number of those complaints were “resolved”,one is less confident of their ability to provide adequateredress. Further, the PCC has no power to fine offendingpublications and even in successful complaints, victimsare not provided any form of compensation.
  15. 15. Limits of Self-Regulation under English law arguments against:· 
 Self-Regulation involves media organisations forming an independent body, setting up their own code of conduct and operational structure as well as raising their own funds.·· In Britain, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is an independent self-regulatory body which adjudicates complaints from the public and acts as an “informal conciliator, leaning on newspapers to admit mistakes or oversights…”·· It is funded by a levy on newspaper and magazine publishers who subscribe to its authority. Does this create bias, how can you regulate yourself, the PCCʼs history has shown that it does not work with the failure of previous self regulatory bodies?·· Use your case studies that you have watched and researched to support the problems of current PCC and self regulation
  16. 16. Theorists against self regulationRobertson and Nicol who have entertained the view that the PCC is “an ineffective regulator whichfails to offer adequate redress in a great many cases”.Tambini et al ( 277) “The argument for self regulation of the media as an alternative to legislationmeans using self regulation methods ( codes bodies able to apply the code) to provide a frameworkof limitations which in turn provides a system of accountability. CriticismStokes and Reading (1999:156). Newspapers argue for freedom of expression, but in doing so theysuggest that newspapers alone, other than other public bodies should stand above internationallaw. Quiet clearly for some newspapers the ability to snoop and poke into peopleʼs private lives isinfinitely more important than carrying out serious journalism.A similar view was echoed by the ECHR decision in Peck v United Kingdom (2003) ECHR when itwas found that “The PCC rejected the applicantʼs [Peck] complaint without a hearing…” Mr Peckwas caught on CCTV when he attempted to commit suicide in a public place. This footage waspublicised without his permission and the ECHR upheld his claim for invasion of privacynotwithstanding the PCCʼs earlier rejection of the same complaint
  17. 17. Arguments for self regulationIn 2008 Labour MP Jim Sheridan was arguing the case for the PCC to be replaced in the House of Commons .Sheridan was introducing the new bill, which would be the latest attempt to “introduce a statutory method forprotecting the general public from inaccurate and, at times, inflammatory reports in the press and media” .The new proposed regulatory system said it would not have any effect on the freedom of the press and that itwas the duty of a free press to “balance commercial considerations with its responsibilities to individuals and tosociety as a whole” . The main thrust of the argument is that the PCC should have more power to enforce its code and ensure thatmembers correct their mistakes when proved to have transgressed. Apparently the National Union ofJournalists has been calling for the PCC to become a public body which would allow its practices to bescrutinised through the Freedom of Information Act 2000 [5]. The argument is that if the workings of the PCCwere more transparent, then there would be less cause for complaint, in particular with regards to the amountof complaints that are actually upheld. Sheridan goes on to state that “there is an increasing body of anecdotalevidence to suggest that in situations in which victims feel that they have a strong case, they are brought offwith minimal out-of-court cash settlements, and with a small retraction buried in the depths of thenewspaper” [6] .A 2009 Select Committee report into "Press Standards, Privacy and Libel" stated that "self-regulation of thepress is greatly preferable to statutory regulation, and should continue
  18. 18. InternetThe growth of the internet has brought its own problems particularly in relationto social networking sites and the protection of privacy.An Ipsos MORI poll commissioned by the PCC in March 2008 revealed that42% of web users aged 16-24 knew someone who had been embarrassed byinformation uploaded on to the internet without their consent. And 78% of theentire adult online population would change information they publish aboutthemselves online if they thought the material would later be reproduced in themainstream media.In addition, 89% of web users thought there should be clear guidelines aboutthe type of personal information that can be published online so that they cancomplain if the material is wrong or intrusive.
  19. 19. Internet does it mean the only way is self regulation?PCC director Stephen Abell, in an interview in June2010, said the Commission believed that theproliferation of information online "militates againststatutory regulation, as the content is so diffuse thatit cannot be easily constrained."The PCC felt therefore that only self-restraint andself-imposed standards from newspapers,magazines and their websites could really workonline.
  20. 20. The Internet is not immune to regulation.Forget self regulation- is statutory regulation already regulatingthe industry?How libel law is effecting regulationLibel law is when a person writes a defamatory untrue statement about a person, abroadcast statement is called defamation. Newspapers are normally subject to libellaws but recently, this law has been applied to the internet.Ranting in 140 characters has cost Courtney Love $430,000 (£265,000) after she was accused of libelling afashion designer on Twitter. The singer agreed to settle Dawn Simorangkirs libel suit rather than face a jury ina courtroom showdown. It is thought to have been the first libel settlement prompted by tweets. Love had usedTwitter and her MySpace account to declare Simorangkir, who is behind the Boudoir Queen designer label, athief and a criminal. Loves ire is said to have been sparked in 2009 by the designers decision to send Love abill for five outfits.
  21. 21. The problem is not self-regulation vs. regulation or even the internet, its the fact that regulation is medium specificPoints In the past regula1on in this country has been media specific, however, we can see with case studies like Jan Moir that what was perfectly acceptable for the PCC, would have been a major problem for OFCOM’s guidelines. This means that regula1on is a joke because there is no consistency.You have the BBFC and Ofcom which both have statutory du1es but, BBFC is regulated by industry professionals and Ofcom by a government body. BBFC is more like the PCC in rela1on to the way it regulates itself however PCC has no legal powers.Further, with the impact of the internet, 24 news coverage, how can you regulate or censor news, if the press are not aloud to report it because of an injunc1on, then people will search the internet.The problem with the concept that we can regulate the media, is largely in doubt now because of the impact of internet, and web 2.0 unless we regulate the internet, doing this is both difficult because different countries have different law, also because of web 2.0 and also because regula1ng the internet would be seen as a 
  22. 22. RememberWhat the internet does is highlight this problem of mediaspecific regulation firstly because it is difficult to regulate.Secondly it shows the problems with the current systembecause the internet is a medium which containstechnological convergence and proliferation, i.e. itcontains radio, print, TV, adverts and films.All of the above are regulated be a media specificregulatory system i.e. self regulated and regulated, so theinternet highlights the problem with the current system.
  23. 23. Is the internet freeTwitter and Facebook have been lauded as the ushers of a new era insocial activism. But when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Egyptthis Jan. and Feb., the government switched off the Internet. TheMubarak regime disconnected 90 million people from the Web simplyby calling the countryʼs four internet service providers and demandingthey discontinue service. Perhaps social networks arenʼt asdecentralized as we thought.Douglas Rushkoff, a media theorist writing for CNN, said the Internet is“entirely controlled by central authorities.” While the common personmay feel a degree of liberty with their Tweets or posts, ultimately thepower is vested in the corporations who own the platforms and thegovernments that command the kill switches.
  24. 24. Theorists McQuailInternet as a new media, changes the role of the audience. Thebalance of audience activity shifts from â reception to searching,consulting and interacting (Mc Quail, 2000: 120).Internet features three main ideas as it is interactivity, demassifiednature and breaking the barrier of space and time. Audience are able toaccess the Internet from almost everywhere, seeking information fromsources within and outside geographic barriers. The audience are notrestricted to local content anymore, as the degree of freedom that isavailable. Despite the differences, the new media are being used andexploited in much as the same way the old media for selling,advertising, propaganda and persuasion ? (Mc Quail, 2000: 124).
  25. 25. Theorists in favour of self regulationCollins (1991:61) newspapers are watchdogs of society and it is vitally important to prevent directgovernment intervention to the press. It is argued that statutory regulation would make the pressbehave more responsibly but it does not auger for democracy when politicians start praisingnewspapers for behaving responsibly. Collins (1991:61) “Always behind the presence of statutory press regulation hovers the prospect ofcensorship” Collins (1991: 61) argues that statutory regulation would also open up new markets and servicesfor lawyers by newspapers and few citizens could enforce their right without legal aid. Collins (1991: 62) In a framework of self regulation which deal with editors in a direct and impartialbasis as neither friends nor foes to each other.  Solevay and Reed (6) “however the type of self regulation now accepted has been advocatedseriously since about the year 2000. Prior to that self regulation had a much different meaning. Itmeant essentially no regulation” I.e. This can be linked to the fact that companies are now askingpeople to say how old they are before downloading something, or with AOL and other companiesdisconnecting people, there is now a move towards self regulation rather than no regulation on theinternet.
  26. 26. 
 What are the arguments for andagainst specific forms of contemporary media regulationThe arguments for and against media regulation large fall into two parts,1. Self regulating vs. state regulation2. Press Freedom vs. state control3. Public interest vs. Privacy4. How effect are regulatory practices
  27. 27. What is the PCCPress Complaints CommissionIs an independent body that administers a system a selfregulation for the press self regulating vs. state regulation Self-regulation means that the industry or profession rather than the government is doing the regulation. In contrast: State or statutory regulations means an act of law or a government body regulates the industryArgumentsThe British press operates an important position as the fourth estate.The press is there to challenge parliament and act in the public interest.
  28. 28. Arguments against state regulationBritish press operates an important position as the fourth estate.The press are there to challenge parliament and act in the public interest.Journalists often use the ʻpublic interest defenceʼ as a defence to publish information.The media needs to be free to protect and promote the rights of freedom of expression andinformation, not provide an opportunity for public officials to interfere in or harass the media
  29. 29. Arguments for and against Self RegulationMaintaining a free, responsible pressOne of the central benefits of press self regulation is that it combines high standards of ethical reporting with a freepress. Statutory controls would undermine the freedom of the press - and would not be so successful in raisingstandards. A privacy law, too, would be unworkable and an unacceptable infringement on press freedom. It would be ofpotential use only to the rich and powerful who would be prepared to use the Courts to enforce their rights - and would bemisused by the corrupt to stop newspapers from reporting in the public interest. Self regulation has none of the problemsof the law - yet still provides a system in which editors are committed to the highest possible ethical standards.