I am profoundly dissatisfied with the ruling of the Press Complaints Commission against the Daily Mail’s entirely inaccurate story with the headline, ‘Sold out! Flights and buses full as Romanians and Bulgarians head for the UK’.
The PCC upheld several of my complaints against the Daily Mail and found that their story breached the Editors’ Code of Practice on accuracy. But the PCC has not compelled the newspaper to make a proper correction and to admit in public that they broke the Editors’ Code. The PCC will not publish their ruling and so, if I had not published it myself, it would have remained secret. And many of my evidence-based complaints against the Daily Mail’s flawed feature story were not upheld by the PCC, for reasons that seem bizarre and inconsistent.
The Daily Mail’s so-called ‘corrections’ on this issue have been small and obscurely tucked away; they make no reference to my complaint; do not explain the context of the corrections and the reasons for them; do not state that the paper broke the Editors’ Code, and do not even have to refer to the PCC ruling. If this is the only consequence for sloppy, incorrect, alarmist and often xenophobic journalism, nothing is ever going to change, is it?
Until we have a proper, effective, independent press regulator in the UK – as required by The Leveson Inquiry – we will not be able to bring newspapers to account. My efforts to challenge just one Daily Mail story took most of this year; it should not have taken so long for the PCC to reach their (inadequate) verdict.
Newspapers such as the Daily Mail will no doubt continue to publish untrue or misleading stories against foreigners, immigrants and in particular Romanians and Bulgarians (until they find a new scapegoat). But at least those who are interested can see more clearly now how such publications work and how they do appear to have an agenda; an agenda we should all be concerned about.
Today the Press Complaints Commission closed and opened its “new” press regulation service, now called IPSO, with the same founding directors, the same company number, the same premises, the same staff, and with the same Editors’ Code of Practice headed by the same chairman, Paul Dacre, Editor of the Daily Mail.
Jon Danzig Monday 8 September 2014 pccruling.eu-rope.com
“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”