Saturday, February 01, 2014

Complaints Against The Press - Why The #PCC Is Failing ...

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is described as "a voluntary regulatory body for British printed newspapers and magazines, consisting of representatives of the major publishers."

Two key words there.

'Voluntary' is the worst of them. While censorship has been - and still is a - dirty word, the mainstream Press has successfully fought off third-party decision making in media complaints for years. And the publications don't even have to subscribe to the code - don't bother complaining if you have a beef against the Express or Star titles, they take no part in the process and are immune from the PCC. 

The second is 'Representatives' - yes, the papers bosses all rule on each other, with a wink and a nudge and an unspoken 'quid pro quo'.

Of course, I have no proof of this. At all. But the secrecy, lack of transparency and failure to act in the Phone-Hacking Scandal leads media-watchers to wonder what they're hiding. 

But I found a recent article in the Huffington Post by Professor Brian Cathcart, Director of Hacked Off, very interesting indeed. The Daily Mail - among *all* publications - accounts for over 36%, over 1/3 of complaints - way ahead of the next challenger, The Sun, at a mere 19%.

Here's the table ...

The man responsible for this is the Editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre. Do the PCC castigate him? Berate him? No, of course not.

They let him run the Editors' Code Of Practice Committee instead.
"It is obvious that the PCC's mission is to do the opposite of the naming and shaming that many national newspapers insist is so important in other walks of life. Instead the PCC covers up."