The Press Complaints commission, which is the industry body which attempts to regulate the printed media, and now the corresponding websites, is engaged in a “Governance Review” – and is wanting responses by January 25th 2010.
The commission last had the attention of bloggers when a proposal was made by the PCC Chairman Baroness Buscombe that they should be regulated by the PCC. Unity, at Liberal Conspiracy, organised a response which drew expressions of support from perhaps 300 bloggers over the following 3 days.
At that point I also commented on some problems with the PCC itself :
Baroness Buscombe, the Press Complaints Commission and the Internet: Hard Questions
Firstly, the Chairman of the Press Complaints Commission is a position which surely depends on political and commercial neutrality. (Baroness Buscombe takes the Tory Whip in the Lords)
Secondly, despite the Chairman of the PCC clearly needing to be a neutral figure, Baroness Buscombe used her speech to the Society of Editors to make party political points.
Thirdly, the PCC’s level of knowledge and understanding about the Internet is open to question; they appear not to understand News Headline Aggregators.
Fourthly, the PCC needs to defend vigorous investigative journalism. The Baroness – as current Chairman and a Peer herself – has suggested that the Lords should not be subjected to the same scrutiny as the Commons has been in the last 12 months.
SUGGESTION ONE: Like-for-like placement of retractions, corrections and apologies in print and online (as standard).
SUGGESTION TWO: Original or redirected URLs for retractions, corrections & apologies online (as standard).
SUGGESTION THREE: The current Code contains no reference to headlines, and this loophole should be closed immediately.
SUGGESTION FOUR: Sources to be credited unless they do not wish to be credited or require anonymity/protection.
SUGGESTION FIVE: A longer and more interactive consultation period for open discussion of more fundamental issues.
And he has done an excellent (and noisy) video involving space invaders, which you can see here .
The PCC has a special website set up, from where you can send your submission.
The closing date is January 25th 2010.