PCC year at a glance
PCC in Parliament
A central aim of the PCC is to encourage people to use our services. MPs are in a unique position because not only do they appear in the press themselves, but also they represent every citizen of the UK.
The PCC hosted a reception in the House of Commons for all MPs, so that they could be aware of how we can help them and, just as importantly, their constituents. We want every MP to know they can call the PCC at any time, if their constituents need help. The event was also open to Peers.
Madeleine Moon MP and Graham Brady MP sponsored the event and gave introductory speeches. Ms Moon, in particular, was able to testify to how the PCC had helped when tragedy struck her constituency of Bridgend.
PCC holds open day in Southampton
As part of its annual programme of open days, the PCC came to Southampton. It hosted a private surgery for any member of public with concerns about the press, and then held an open Q & A. The panel members were: Baroness Buscombe, Chairman of the PCC; Stephen Abell, Director of the PCC; Simon Sapper, public Commissioner; and Ian Murray, editor of the Southern Daily Echo.
PCC rules on online contact with child
The PCC upheld a complaint against the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian for soliciting email comments from pupils in connection with a story that their sex education teacher was a 'porn star'.
It subsequently published a comment apparently sent from a schoolgirl. Her father complained that she had not actually sent the comment, and that - in any case - she should not have been quoted in a newspaper, as she was 14 years old.
The Commission upheld the complaint, and the newspaper changed its policy so that it no longer requested comments in connection with school stories.
Annual meeting of the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe
Each year, the PCC participates in the annual meeting of AIPCE, the Alliance of Independent Press Councils of Europe. AIPCE is a loose network of independent content regulators for both press and broadcast media. Its annual conferences provide a forum for Media and Press Council representatives to discuss topical issues, to exchange ideas and to offer and receive advice.
The 2010 conference was held in Amsterdam, and a PCC representative was able to provide an update to all delegates on notable rulings and developments over the course of the previous year.
For more information, please see www.aipce.net
In November, they included:
‒ Collating concerns from various authorities about how a child sex abuse case was being reported. To prevent 'jigsaw' identification, the PCC communicated with the relevant news organisations, so that each was aware what information was in the public domain;
‒ Passing on concerns from a well-known singer about persistent pursuit by photographers.