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PCC spokesperson promises to listen to LGBT people

25 February 2010

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has promised to listen to the concerns of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people after facing a barrage of criticism for failing to take action on stories that appear discriminatory.

A PCC representative was asked if he was ashamed to be representing the organisation at an event organised in Bristol by media charity Mediawise to discuss the way LGBT issues are handled in the media.

Anger was centred on the PCC's decision not to act against the Daily Mail despite 25,000 complaints when in October 2009 columnist Jan Moir described gay singer Stephen Gately's death as "unnatural" and referred to his lifestyle as "dangerous" and "sleazy".

However, Will Gore, director of public affairs for the PCC, urged the Bristol audience to continue to raise their concerns even though the PCC had decided Jan Moir's article had failed to breach its editors' code of practice.

The Jan Moir story, he pointed out, had most unusually been singled out for criticism by PCC chair Peta Buscombe, and was clearly a "really unpleasant" article.

The Bristol event, called What's The LGBT Story?, heard calls for the PCC to start taking advice from affected communities when it considers complaints about discrimination.

One audience member said:

"It's difficult for people who are not from the affected group to even recognise that discrimination has taken place."

The meeting was also addressed by Maddie Shapland and Sian Norris of Bristol Feminist Network; Lena Calvert, NUJ national equality officer, and Darryl Bullock, editor of the lesbian and gay section at Bristol magazine Venue.

Tags: , pcc, lgbt, mediawise, equality, ethics, complaints, bristol