Intro to Press Regulation:   2. The PCC  Who polices the Press?
The Press Complaints Commission <ul><li>Responsible for newspapers and magazines </li></ul><ul><li>(print and online) </li...
PCC system <ul><li>Acts as a mediator between 2 parties, or an adjudicator </li></ul><ul><li>They will ‘uphold’ or ‘reject...
Code of practice summary (updated 2011 There are 16 clauses in total: <ul><li>1.  Accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>2. Opportunit...
The  public interest <ul><li>There may be exceptions to the clauses marked  *  where they can be demonstrated to be in the...
Public interest – children under 16 <ul><li>5. In cases involving children under 16, editors must demonstrate an exception...
PCC complaints <ul><li>PCC accepts complaints from anyone who believes the code has been breached by an article that affec...
Why is the PCC important? <ul><li>We live in a democracy and should maintain a free press as a result, free from governmen...
Criticisms of the PCC <ul><li>Self regulation is not strict enough </li></ul><ul><li>Not a pro-active system (eg phone-tap...
Recent high profile examples <ul><li>Death of Stephen Gately (Daily Mail-Jan Moir) </li></ul><ul><li>Peaches Geldof (Daily...
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Intro to press regulation 2 the pcc

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Intro to press regulation 2 the pcc

  1. 1. Intro to Press Regulation: 2. The PCC Who polices the Press?
  2. 2. The Press Complaints Commission <ul><li>Responsible for newspapers and magazines </li></ul><ul><li>(print and online) </li></ul><ul><li>An independent body that deals with complaints post </li></ul><ul><li>publication </li></ul><ul><li>Free from government influence </li></ul><ul><li>This is not a legal system but a ‘voluntary’ one </li></ul><ul><li>Follow a Code of Practice drawn up by a committee of </li></ul><ul><li>Editors </li></ul><ul><li>The Commission members are not connected to the </li></ul><ul><li>newspaper industry </li></ul>
  3. 3. PCC system <ul><li>Acts as a mediator between 2 parties, or an adjudicator </li></ul><ul><li>They will ‘uphold’ or ‘reject’ a complaint </li></ul><ul><li>They will publish a full explanation of their decision </li></ul><ul><li>Can determine sanctions against the press (ie to publish </li></ul><ul><li>an apology or correction) </li></ul><ul><li>The paper must also publish the full adjudication </li></ul><ul><li>The code covers accuracy, privacy, news gathering, and protecting the vulnerable </li></ul><ul><li>It does not cover issues of taste and decency </li></ul><ul><li>Funded by industry contributions – proportionate to circulation figures </li></ul>
  4. 4. Code of practice summary (updated 2011 There are 16 clauses in total: <ul><li>1. Accuracy </li></ul><ul><li>2. Opportunity to reply </li></ul><ul><li>3. Privacy* </li></ul><ul><li>4. Harrassment* </li></ul><ul><li>5. Intrusion into grief and shock </li></ul><ul><li>6. Children* </li></ul><ul><li>7. Children in sex cases* </li></ul><ul><li>8. Hospitals* </li></ul><ul><li>9. Reporting of crime* </li></ul><ul><li>10. Clandestine devices and subterfuge* </li></ul><ul><li>11. Victims of sexual assault </li></ul><ul><li>12. Discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>13. Financial journalism </li></ul><ul><li>14. Confidential sources </li></ul><ul><li>15. Witness payments in criminal trials </li></ul><ul><li>16. Payment to criminals* </li></ul>
  5. 5. The public interest <ul><li>There may be exceptions to the clauses marked * where they can be demonstrated to be in the public interest. </li></ul><ul><li>1. The public interest includes, but is not confined to: </li></ul><ul><li>i) Detecting or exposing crime or serious impropriety. </li></ul><ul><li>ii) Protecting public health and safety. </li></ul><ul><li>iii) Preventing the public from being misled by an action or statement of an individual or organisation. </li></ul><ul><li>2. There is a public interest in freedom of expression itself. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Whenever the public interest is invoked, the PCC will require editors to demonstrate fully that they reasonably believed that publication, or journalistic activity undertaken with a view to publication, would be in the public interest. </li></ul><ul><li>4. The PCC will consider the extent to which material is already in the public domain, or will become so. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Public interest – children under 16 <ul><li>5. In cases involving children under 16, editors must demonstrate an exceptional public interest to over-ride the normally paramount interest of the child. </li></ul><ul><li>i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. </li></ul><ul><li>ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate - an apology published. In cases involving the Commission, prominence should be agreed with the PCC in advance. </li></ul><ul><li>iii) The press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact. </li></ul><ul><li>iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published. </li></ul>
  7. 7. PCC complaints <ul><li>PCC accepts complaints from anyone who believes the code has been breached by an article that affects them </li></ul><ul><li>1.5% of complaints come from figures in the public eye </li></ul><ul><li>95.8% come from ordinary members of the public </li></ul><ul><li>Majority of complaints are from regional newspapers </li></ul><ul><li>Children, hospital patients and those at risk of discrimination are considered particularly vulnerable </li></ul>
  8. 8. Why is the PCC important? <ul><li>We live in a democracy and should maintain a free press as a result, free from government control </li></ul><ul><li>We should not ‘censor’ just because we don’t agree with something/someone </li></ul><ul><li>The PCC is independent and voluntary and protects against this simply by its existence </li></ul><ul><li>By voluntary, this means that it is voluntary for newspapers to sign up to the code </li></ul><ul><li>Being free needs to be balanced with being accountable </li></ul><ul><li>The PCC provides clear guidelines to the press </li></ul><ul><li>If rules are broken, the public can expect that this should be put right </li></ul><ul><li>The system is fast, free and fair (ie independent) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Criticisms of the PCC <ul><li>Self regulation is not strict enough </li></ul><ul><li>Not a pro-active system (eg phone-tapping scandal) </li></ul><ul><li>Not legal so not seen as having ‘teeth’ </li></ul><ul><li>Newspapers abuse the apology/corrections sanction </li></ul><ul><li>Taste and decency is often the main issue </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t force a paper to pay a fine </li></ul><ul><li>Post-publication: the damage is done </li></ul><ul><li>Limited public awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t act without a complaint </li></ul><ul><li>The complaint must come from an individual ‘victim’ </li></ul>
  10. 10. Recent high profile examples <ul><li>Death of Stephen Gately (Daily Mail-Jan Moir) </li></ul><ul><li>Peaches Geldof (Daily Star) </li></ul><ul><li>JK Rowling (Mail on Sunday) </li></ul><ul><li>Nick Soames MP (The Argus local paper) </li></ul><ul><li>John Hayter/Ian Thomlinson (The People) </li></ul><ul><li>Dunblaine Victims (Daily Express) </li></ul><ul><li>Claire Balding (Sunday Times) </li></ul><ul><li>Heather Mills (Mail on Sunday) </li></ul>

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