Thursday, July 14, 2011

Press Complaints Commission and Thomson Reuters

Today’s lesson in British journalism brought us to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) where our class gained insight to the rules and regulations governing publication of print and related online articles. Rebecca Hales, a complaints commissioner with the PCC, explained the PCC is an independent body, set up to administer and examine complaints by the public on editorial content in magazines and newspapers. Its goal is to serve the public the best it can by policing privacy and personal issues covered in the news and dealing with accuracy in all print reporting, she said.
The PCC publishes the Editors’ Code of Practice, which is simply a handbook with 16 sections/clauses which deal with the types of complaints the public may have with any print article. The code is a benchmark for ethical and moral standards that protect the rights of the individual and the public’s right to know any private information.

In the UK, 95 percent of newspapers are members of the PCC, which means they agree to live by the standards set by the agency. But while it is essential to follow the code based on the rights of the individual, the PCC strives to not interfere with freedom of press or obstructing public interest, Hales said. Editors remain in charge of applying the code to the material in both printed and online versions. If the public feels they have failed to do so, the PCC can become involved, she said.

If the code seems to have been breached, the PCC will approach the complaint in one of two ways: Through mediation and through adjudication. Hales said through mediation, the PCC aims to find a common ground between the complainer and the offending newspaper. If such mediation fails, the matter will be considered by the commission and a judgement is made regarding a resolution. If the complaint is upheld, the offending newspaper or magazine must publish the PCC's statement saying that the newspaper or web site was guilty of a breach of the code. If the PCC finds that the complaint is not valid, they explain their findings to the complainer, but the newspaper is not required to publish those findings.

Hales said the PCC receives and average of 3,500 complains each year. The majority of these complaints are raised under Clause 1 (accuracy), Clause 2 (opportunity to reply), Clause 3 (privacy) and Clause 6 (children) of the Code of Practice.
For more information about the PCC visit them at

We also visited Thomson Reuters Thursday. The news agency, which provides all types of news coverage but continues a focus on financial news, operates in Canary Wharf in London close to many of the financial entities it serves. Its coverage is handled worldwide by bureaus that keep news up-to-date as news cycles and time marches on in a single day. Overall the company employs 55,000 people in more than 100 countries. Major services that are acquired through the media include text, news wires, videos, pictures, digital syndication, graphics and financial information. For more information on Thomson Reuters vist them at or

No comments:

Post a Comment