Monday, 11 July 2011

Press regulation: what's to fear?

One of the likely casualties of recent events in the media is the Press Complaints Commission.

As a regulator it's been, well, pants. The Express group of papers - which really do need regulating - have been allowed to drop out, and many breaches of the PCC code go with relatively little comeback on the publisher. Self-regulation hasn't worked for the national press.

Broadcasters are of course regulated by Ofcom, which has statutory powers. And news broadcasters seem to manage alright under its jurisdiction. One of the star news services of the past few days has been Sky News: from it's fantastic hour at six o'clock on Thursday evening to Adam Boulton tonight describing the future of his own channel as "in the balance" as spotted by Richard Jones

Odd to see Adam Boulton on Sky News saying that the future of his own channel is "in the balance" after today's developments.less than a minute ago via HootSuite Favorite Retweet Reply

Unlike the News International controlled press they've given space to this story, and haven't been afraid to interview people who've been critical of Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. They've been across the story, covering it with balance and vigour. And all of this under the control of a regulator.

Journalists need some freedoms to do their job, but the loss of self-regulation doesn't mean the sky will fall in.


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  2. Broadcasting regulators work mainly in the fields of taste and decency, deliberately fighting shy of news content and opinion.
    In addition, TV news almost invariably follows an agenda discovered by the more probing and challenging practices of print news.
    The first time a government regulator reigns in a newspaper it will mean the state ruling on how news is generated and that will change our democracy by dramatically increasing the power of the establishment.

  3. Oh I dunno - Sections 5 (impatiality), 6 (elections), 7 (fairness) and 8 (privacy) seem to cover some ground that might be considered news content and opinion. Fairness and privacy would certainly be tested by the practices we've seen revealed this week.