Daily Express and Daily Star now unregulated

January 12th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

As if you didn’t already know, but Northern and Shell, the publishers of Richard Desmonds media titles, has stopped paying its subscription to the Press Board of Finance (PressBof). As a result, they have been excluded from the self regulation system run by the PCC.

There’s enough comment about the blogosphere on it, but my post, written yesterday, is over at Expresswatch, if you’re interested.

Just two small errors: the headline and the story

September 27th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

The Daily Star ran a story, not too long ago. What with not reading the Daily Star very often I missed it and it has now been taken down from it’s website. This was due to two small factual errors (well, I say errors but…).

The PCC has adjudicated…

The front-page article had reported that a Rochdale shopping centre had installed “Muslim-only squat-hole loos” and that the local council had wasted “YOUR money” on them. The complainant argued that as the facilities would be available to everyone, it was inaccurate to state they were “Muslim-only”. Nor was taxpayers’ money involved, as the decision to pay for them had been taken by the shopping centre, not by the local council. The newspaper, while claiming that the toilets had been designed with Muslims in mind, nonetheless accepted that both its headline was inaccurate, and that the toilets were paid for by a private developer as opposed to the council. It removed the original article from its website and offered to publish a page 2 correction.

Once again, the PCC has excelled itself.

The Daily Star has portrayed these toilets as public. They may be open to the public, but they aren’t in the sense of the council paying for and having responsibility for them. The central claim that makes this story a story is false, because not a penny of taxpayers money was spent on them. That’s without the completely false headline. This story should just never have happened.

And what does the slavering, razor-toothed beast of a regulating body do? It accepted an offer of a page 2 correction.

This was a front page story. Shouldn’t an editor make sure that the biggest story of the day be correct? Shouldn’t a big, *ahem* ‘mistake’ like this need more than a correction hidden inside the paper when the, *ahem* ‘error’ was on the front?

This sort of ‘mistake’ shouldn’t happen. when it does, the PCC needs to be able to do more. Self regulation isn’t working.

This adjudication highlights not only the inadequacies of the PCC but also the agenda of Richard Desmonds publications, and arguably, the man himself.

Whispered apologies

January 12th, 2010 § 3 comments § permalink

How fucking hard is it to find a snap shot of a newspaper frontpage, eh?


Peaches Geldof has accepted substantial undisclosed libel damages at London’s High Court over a claim that she was a prostitute who charged £5,000 a night for sexual services.

The 20-year-old TV presenter and model had brought proceedings over a September 2008 front page story in The Daily Star.

That is quite insulting, isn’t it? It could ruin a career, an accusation like that, and once mud has been thrown it can be bloody hard to get off.

Peaches initially went to the Press Complaints Commission, which according to the PCC is the right thing to do, and the complaint was upheld and the Daily Star published an apology and retraction. So if Peaches got an apology, why sue?…

“The defendant refused to publish a retraction and apology on its front page but instead published it on page two.

“As the publication was substantially smaller, the claimant considered this to be unacceptable as it was not, in her view, adequately prominent.”

The PCC felt that an apology on the inside of the paper, even though the offending headline was on the front page, was fine. As far as the PCC was concerned it was job done. Next, please.

But it isn’t fine, is it? What the Star did was the equivilent to standing in the street shouting about how Peaches Geldof is a whore to all and sundry that passed by. What the PCC let them do is tell only the people that stop by their office that, actually, Peaches isn’t a whore.

The headlines on the front page scream to the world whether the paper is bought or not. When you buy a paper people notice the other papers, just because they have to find it on the shelf. Many more people would’ve seen that headline, and changed their opinion for the worse, than would’ve seen the retraction and apology.

What, though, would the PCC have done if it had deemed an apology on the second page not good enough and the Daily Star still refused to put it on the front page? Would it have fined the Star? Would it have helped Peaches take the Star to court? Of course not. It would’ve done nothing, because it can do nothing more.

The question is purely academic, anyway. The PCC may have ruled that the complaint was valid, but the ‘punishment’ (yeah, yeah. stop laughing) would’ve been negotiated. The Star, along with many other papers, would never put an apology on the front page, it would’ve told the PCC to fuck right off, so as a compromise, the second page it was.

Quite rightly, the second page was found not to be good enough.

Fortunately, Peaches has the money to take the matter further, not everyone does. The next time it could be you, unable to make a paper stand in the street and tell everyone it was wrong about you.

via Scaryduck

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