Debate around the web

In links on July 6, 2009 at 12:54 pm

The PCC has upheld a complaint against the Scottish Sunday Express for an article about survivors of the Dunblane massacre. It ruled:

“Even though the images and information were available freely online, the way they were used – when there was no particular reason for the boys to be in the news – represented a fundamental failure to respect their private lives.”

The thinking of the PCC in relation to social networking is set out in its adjudication. This blog commented on Facebook and privacy challenges for the press earlier today.

David Cameron has called for the abolition of Ofcom, saying that its policymaking functions will be brought into the DCMS. The future of its regulatory role is unclear but presumably it would mean ministers have a closer relationship to broadcasting issues such as harm and offence.

Ofcom has ruled that Jonathan Ross  did not breach its code when he said that “if your son asks for a Hannah Montana MP3 player then you might want to already think about putting him down for adoption in later life, when they settle down with a partner”. The ruling is similar to a ruling by the BBC when it found that Chris Moyles was not in breach for using the word “gay” to mean “not very good”.

The Press Council of Ireland is in dispute with two of its members who failed to publish an adjudication:

“Failure to do so not only flies in the face of the articles of association under which the Press Council has been established, but also may fall to be considered under the Code of Practice, to which all newspaper editors have signed up,” warned Mitchell (the chairman of the council).

Monica Seles has spoken about her battle with an eating disorder in The Guardian. She says that the British press were particularly cruel:

“My heaviest ever was 1997 Wimbledon: my father was very sick, the outfit I had to wear that year didn’t help, I was 35lb overweight. . . . The British press was so unbelievably cruel. And then at press conferences I would have to sit there while these guys who had written about how fat I was asked me questions. And you know sports writers are not necessarily in the best shape themselves. These enormous guys, asking me if I could be in better shape – I mean, look at yourself in the mirror! Don’t be so brutal!”

The Guardian readers editor has written about the Alfie Patten story and its impact on The Guardian in light of the Julie Meyerson report:

“The Guardian’s editor has since agreed to update the paper’s editorial code to cover journalists who write about their children. Among other things, the new provisions contain the advice that, where children are old enough, their consent to publication should be sought, and suggest that editors consider whether children’s identities should be obscured online to protect them from embarrassment or harm as they grow older.”

SepticIsle reports on the PCC’s investigation of the Alfie Patten story:

“Is the PCC a regulator or is it not? A regulator with any teeth would have demanded that the newspapers themselves reveal what was promised, and just how, if the reports of the Sun setting up a trust fund for the child are accurate, it was intending to deliver the payment.”

Alan Duncan MP has criticised some of the journalism around the MPs expenses story – via SkyNews. He calls it: “deceitful journalism of the lowest sort”


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