NEWSDESK
LAW
Codes of conduct for print and broadcasts
email: newsdesk-UK
 
 

 

Spelling it out

Enter the name Fabio Capello in the search slot of the Press Complaints Commission and you will see that the England manager went to the PCC rather than to the courts when the Daily Mail and the News of the World intruded upon his privacy as he and his wife took a mud bath on the beach.

The type of pictures they used can be summed up by the Mail Online's headline:

Fabulous Fabio! England boss can
still strip off to tiny trunks at 61.

Go the minutes of the Ofcom Broadcasting Sanctions Committee for April 3 2009 and you can the read disciplinary findings which followed the infamous R2 show during which Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross left lewd messages on the answer-phone of the actor Andrew Sachs.

These two cases are among hundreds you can trawl through on the PCC and Ofcom websites - and as you trawl you begin to appreciate what is and what is not ethical in the media.

You also appreciate that both print and broadcast have codes of conduct which are plainly spelt out and both have the muscle to discipline offenders even though there is often controversy about their findings and, in the case of the PCC, sniping by critics who insist that self-regulation doesn't work.


Starting off with the PCC

The Editors' Codebook, the official handbook that sets the Editors' Code in context, brings together the Code and the case law developed through years of PCC adjudications. It provides a unique guide to how the Code works in practice.
Download new Editors' Code Book

PCC Guidance notes

This releases a pdf which gives the rationale behind each section of the code and provides examples to illustrate them.

Resolved complaints

These are where the PCC acts as a go-between to resolve complaints without having to make an adjudication itself. The Capello case is a good example and the respected media commentator Roy Greenslade declared it was a landmark case for the PCC.
Roy Greenslade: Capello privacy victory a PCC landmark | Media | guardian.co.uk

Adjudicated Complaints

These adjudications occur when the PCC are not able to broker an agreement between the two parties and have to make the decision on the rights and wrongs of the case itself.

The decision in the Clare Balding case is a good example of the way it works and the arguments some decisions provoke. First the decision, then the PCC ruling, then the arguments......
BBC News - Clare Balding complaint over sexuality is upheld
Clare Balding
Why I reluctantly disagree with the PCC over its Balding-Gill ruling | Media | guardian.co.uk
Stephen Glover: A prissy judgement by the PCC - Stephen Glover, Opinion - The Independent


Now off to Ofcom
The Ofcom code has only 10 sections compared with the PCC's 16 and is tailored to meet the differing demands of the broadcasting industry. While the PCC's first section is to do with accuracy, the broadcasting code's first is to do with 'protecting' the under-18s.
Ofcom | Ofcom Broadcast Code Guidance

Most of the adjudications, however, are less pithy than those of the PCC and take some working through.There is another big difference. Ofcom can fine offenders - and the money goes straight to the Exchequer (to help with the deficit?).
Ofcom | Sanctions Committee Adjudications


Now the BBC guidelines


A vast archive ranging from A for accuracy to W for war - nothing, alas, for
X, Y and Z.

BBC - Editorial Guidelines - A-Z of Guidelines - Guidelines - B



 

             
     
     
  cover  
click
 


PCC
Adjudications
Apology and correction sufficient

Weekly censured
over accuracy


Case study:

PCC clears Express/Star


PCC judgment


PCC "right to investigate"



 
 
Home page
   
           
 
Home page