A member of the public may have a valid complaint against the press; however such a complaint may come without redress from the law. Alternatively, the individual may have certain protection under the law,
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Broadcasting and Media Law Assignment 1 - Press Complaints Commission Leyla Hassan "One of the main deficiencies of the print media is its inability to control the publication of materials likely to be damaging to members of the public. Indeed, the absence of any strong regulatory and punitive measures is a clear indication that the print media have a licence to print what they want" A member of the public may have a valid complaint against the press; however such a complaint may come without redress from the law. Alternatively, the individual may have certain protection under the law, however this may prove to be too expensive and therefore court action would be an unsuitable form of seeking redress. For a while, there has been a need for regulatory bodies that 'overlook' and regulate the actions of the press, without the need for government to intervene, a body that can act as a mediator between the disputing parties. This would provide a cheaper and quicker form of settling a dispute whilst keeping the matter away from the courts. However, this has not come easy, a self-regulatory bodies has been scrutinised over the years by the general public and the government. There are constant threats to the introduction of statutory measures in order to overcome the bodies incompetence in resolving matters and protecting the public from the 'intruding press' and other unacceptable activities.
Scottish Newspapers Publishers Association; 5. Scottish Daily Newspaper Society. PRESBOF was incorporated to: * Co-ordinate and promote self regulation within the industry; * Finance the PCC; * Proved ready means of liaison between the PCC and the industry; * Monitor and review the Code of Conduct through the Code Committee. Below PRESBOF is the Appointments Commission which is set to find appropriate members. All complaints are dealt with under the Code of Practice. The procedure will go no further if there is no cause of complaint under this code. The objective is to achieve a fast and effective resolution to the matter, thus complaints will only be usually dealt with if they have been lodged within one month of the publication. The complaint must be lodged with the aggrieved and not a third party to the matter. However, those involved in the article may be called upon to comment on the complaint raised. A complaint will not be dealt with if it is currently in the process of litigation. The press has a certain Code of Practice and Code of Conduct to adhere to. Therefore, editors are responsible for the actions of their journalists employed by their publications. Editors are also expected to co-operate with the PCC as swiftly as possible.
However, it is argued that adjudications are far more effective and are most certainly quicker and cheaper than the alternatives. If the PCC were empowered to impose fines it would mean statutory intervention, something that the press have avoided to date. Additionally, if fines were used as a means of punishing the offender, it is argued that this will have limited effect as most large newspapers would prefer to pay the fine rather than not publish the offending article. Whereas, having to publish an apology causes the editor embarrassment and potential loss of earnings through advertising. One of the central benefits of press self regulation is that it combines high standards of ethical reporting with a free press. Statutory controls would undermine the freedom of the press - and would not be so successful in raising standards. A privacy law, too, would be unworkable and an unacceptable infringement on press freedom. It would be of potential use only to the rich and powerful who would be prepared to use the Courts to enforce their rights - and would be misused by the corrupt to stop newspapers from reporting in the public interest. Self regulation has none of the problems of the law - yet still provides a system in which editors are committed to the highest possible ethical standards.
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