Help us better the Press Complaints Commission

11:22 am - January 25th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    

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The PCC has often come under criticism on LibCon and elsewhere for the way it seems to regulate the press (or not). There are far too many instances to list here where it has not managed to get newspapers to correct even basic mistakes.

But rather than just complaining, a group of bloggers including yours truly are making a submission to the PCC.

A review of the newspaper industry’s Code of Practice is being conducted by the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee, a separate body that operates independently of the PCC. [slightly updated, see comments]

We have come up with five suggestions for the PCC code:
1. Like-for-like placement of retractions, corrections and apologies in print and online (as standard).

2. Original or redirected URLs for retractions, corrections & apologies online (as standard).

3. The current Code contains no reference to headlines, and this loophole should be closed immediately.

4. Sources to be credited unless they do not wish to be credited or require anonymity/protection.

5. A longer and more interactive consultation period for open discussion of more fundamental issues.

These recommendations are also being submitted to the Independent Governance Review (deadline today). We have slightly longer to send it to the PCC Editors’ Code of Practice Committee (31st January).

To help, you can also email them with these suggestions (if you agree of course) to: – (deadline today)
Governance site
PCC link

Note: They will assume you are content for your submission to be made public unless you clearly state otherwise

More info: Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments

I’m afraid your blog is not quite right.

The Press Complaints Commission is not “currently reviewing its Editors’ Code of Practice” and it is not the “PCC Editors’ Code of Practice Committee”.

The Code is the newspaper and periodical industry’s Code of Practice and so the Code Review is being conducted by the Editors’ Code of Practice Committee ( which is a separate body and operates independently of the PCC.

It writes the rules for the Press and the PCC independently enforces them; following the normal practice in self-regulation that industry contributes to, and co-operates with, the regulatory system.

Suggestions for the Code Review should be sent as soon as possible, but no later than 31 January 2010, to Ian Beales, Code Committee Secretary, PO Box 235, Stonehouse, Glos GL10 3UF or by email

2. Mike Killingworth

Re suggestion 5.

How long is the present consultation period and how long would you like it to be?

Point 1 needs some work, as some corrections are pretty unimportant or not particularly significant to the story itself. Having to write “MAN IS ACTUALLY 42 NOT 41 EXCLUSIVE” as a headline wouldn’t be in anyone’s interests. I know I’m being flippant, but you get my point; there has to be some sort of boundary that lets minor corrections have minor placement rather than a flat like-for-like system.

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