IFJ report calls for reform of PCC over phone hacking
1 March 2010
A new report calls for reform of the Press Complaints Commission, condemning its failure to tackle adequately the News of the World phone-hacking case. The NUJ is backing the calls in the 'Calling to Account' report by the International Federation of Journalists.
The report says that freedom of the press is best protected when there is a strong and respected system of self-regulation. When the credibility of self-regulation is weakened by unethical behaviour, calls for legal restraint and statutory controls inevitably increase.
The NUJ has campaigned for many years for reform of the PCC. Among the key reforms necessary are:
- Commission membership properly representing the general public and working journalists
- A revised code reflecting public concern at inaccuracy, and requiring proper enforcement
- Permitting complaints from the public, rather than just those who can show they've been harmed
- Effective sanctions
- A conscience clause to enable journalists to uphold the code despite pressure.
Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary, said:
"We welcome this important report which once again backs up our calls for reform of the PCC. Journalism is damaged when it does not serve the public interest and does not command public trust.
"The actions of a few journalists have served to damage journalism and open the door to those who want to statutory controls. It's now time to act to reform the PCC so it can defend journalism and the public interest not those of media owners."