I will be exploring how effective the regulation of newspapers is in Britain, specifically of The Sun, The Guardian and The News.

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How effectively are your chosen texts regulated?

By Tessa

In this question, I will be exploring how effective the regulation of newspapers is in Britain, specifically of ‘’The Sun’’, ’’The Guardian’’ and ‘’The News’’. Britain has free press, meaning that newspapers are not regulated by the government nor is there firm legislation on publishers or editors. As the British press is self-regulated, editors and journalists can choose whether to abide by rules or not, as there are no laws on what ideology papers can practice or promote. However, it is important to note that despite the lack of firmly grounded laws in the field of journalism, there are some ethical codes that papers are expected to follow; as they do not want to upset their target audience.

In order to ensure that newspapers and journalism are kept to the highest of standards, a non-statutory body was created back in 1991, called ‘’The Press Complaints Commission’ ’. The P.C.C has administered the Code of Practice made up of 16 clauses that cover issues such as harassment, privacy, discrimination, misrepresentation etc. However, as it is a voluntary and non-statutory body, its codes of regulation have been repeatedly broken, as there is no formal punishment for such wrongdoings. In this right, the P.C.C has been widely refuted and called incapable and ‘’well-meaning but a joke’’, as described by members of the House of Commons. If some of its rules are broken, the P.C.C will file complaints to the guilty party, however most of the time apologies are never made and if they do take place they come in a brief paragraph with small font that most people miss. Other than the P.C.C, another body that seeks to promote media freedom and ethical journalism is the ‘’National Union of Journalists’’ – N.Y.J. The N.Y.J administers its own Code of Conduct for how journalists should disseminate the news and how they need to be objective and not discriminate, having codes very similar to that of the P.C.C.

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‘’The Sun’’, as the popular press it is, has broken the P.C.C’s Code of Practice multiple times, causing disgust, chaos and havoc, which are some of the problems with free Press. The positive approach is how with free press , politicians can be held to account for their actions, connoting a democratic society where everyone is equal in the public eye, despite status or class. However, as with ‘’The Sun’’, this lack of statutory laws has caused the press to become uncontrollable, breaking the codes of Discrimination, Misrepresentation and Privacy multiple times for the sake of sales. Perhaps one of ...

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