The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is to review the rules that govern press behaviour in the UK to maintain public confidence in newspapers in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal, it has said. The self-regulatory industry body, which deals with complaints about content in newspapers and magazines, said …
Deckchairs on the Titanic
While selling news in tomorrows chip wrappers is a business heading for obsolescence, the business of gathering news and distributing it to the public is not going to go away. IMHO PCC really needs to look at reforming itself into a standards body for all news business, not just those who press ink down onto mashed up trees.
Any chance of this review FORCING the Desmond empire (Star, Express etc) to have to join and comply with the new-and-improved PCC once again?
How to do that
There are various exemptions in libel law for journalists. Require them to be members of the PCC to be able to use those defences, or else they <i>prima facie</i> are not journalists.
Then his libel insurance would go up and he'd have to join the regime.
as this story was breaking - Tuesday - I was listening to the debate on PM (Radio4). The PCC chairwoman was blustering and indignant and "very angry indeed" that the NoTW had "clearly lied to us".
I was vaguely reminded of the "Yes Prime Minister" story, where a spy had been cleared when investigated as (Sir Humphry voice) "He was *one of us* Prime Minister".
The only unsurprising fact to emerge from this sorry mess is how ineffectual and incompetent the PCC are.
"He was *one of us*
And if one of us could be one of them, then all of us could be all of them...
also the classic line
from the spys diary (which cleared Sir Humphry)
"had another grilling from Sir Humphry today. So much wool in his head it was easy to pull it over his eyes"
No, I don't think that's going to help.
"It said changes were required to improve the public's confidence in how the press is governed."
It doesn't matter how the press is governed, we now know (or rather, have proof, we always knew) the lengths that some journalists will go to for a story. A "code of practice" won't make any difference if they're already prepared to break the law.
Isn't this rather the point?
>>>>It doesn't matter how the press is governed, we now know (or rather, have proof, we always knew) the lengths that some journalists will go to for a story.
"We always knew..." Which is surely the point. Everyone knows that the tabloids use some pretty unpleasant (if not illegal) methods to get their stories. Most of which are gossip about (relatively) inoffensive celebrities. And the ones who buy the tabloids clearly don't care.
When Princess Diana died, there were waves of anti-press outrage. "They killed the queen of all our hearts" type of thing. Sales dropped for a couple of days, but then they went up. As people wanted the tabloids to tell them exactly how much they ought to be outraged. And at the Queen for not flying the flag at half-mast, rather than the tabloids...
I don't think most of those people stopped believing that the tabloids were partly to blame (true or not), but decided they liked the stories more.
I think it's only the Scousers who had the self-discipline to make it stick, and keep on bearing a grudge. Sun sales collapsed totally in Liverpool after their Hillsborough 'Scum' headline, and I don't think they've got them back even now.
My highly scientific poll of 5 estate agents, had 2 being NotW readers. Both were planning to carry on buying it, one didn't see why not, and the other was outraged at the voicemail 'hacking', but still thought they did great investigative journalism otherwise. Eeek! Unless there's much worse to come out, I'm sure they could have survived as the biggest selling UK paper. I'm sure they were closed down to protect the Sky deal, which is worth far more.
"maintain public confidence in newspapers"
What? Bit late for that. The Daily Mail publishes lies and direct contradicts itself on a daily basis. Even the broadsheets fail to correct themselves when they fuck up.
Overtaken by events
Since 'Dave' has announced he's doing away with the PCC...
Abolish the PCC would be a start
An organisation run by the press is innefectual at regulating the press... surprise!!
Something independent, but not actually run by the press, is needed. With teeth. Big sharp ones.
Of course the moment you suggest that they'll start bleating about 'freedom' - well look where unfettered freedom of the press has got us.. just walk into WHSmiths and checkout the headlines. Journalism is in the gutter and more discredited as an industry than banking!
...that hacking and other tactics* were par for the course on Fleet Street. The NotW was just unlucky to be caught.
*Which include tax evasion.
The part I don't understand...
...is if breaking into voicemail, bribing police, and lying about it are already illegal, what exactly are all these calls for more regulation about? If the problem is that something clearly illegal happened and the police didn't investigate it anywhere nearly as well as they should have, how is giving a press-regulating body sharper teeth supposed to fix it?