Complaints with merit
In 2010, the Press Complaints Commission made rulings on, or brokered amicable settlements to, 1,687 cases – around the same as the previous year's figure.
750 complaints were judged by the Commission to have merit and to raise a likely breach of the Editors' Code of Practice, a very slight rise on the previous year's figure of 738. These were either upheld in a formal, written ruling (which the offending publication was obliged to publish) or were remedied by way of an apology, correction or other suitable action.
It is well known that the Commission places considerable emphasis on its role as a mediator, resolving disputes in a co-operative manner and doing so quickly and at no cost to complainants. Last year, 544 complaints were resolved to the satisfaction of complainants, representing 72.5% of all cases where the Editors' Code of Practice appeared to have been breached. A summary of all such complaints can be seen here.
In 188 further instances the Commission concluded that remedial action taken or offered by a newspaper or magazine was adequate, even though an agreement between complainant and publication could not be reached.
In the remaining 18 cases the Commission issued a formal, critical ruling against titles that had breached the Code and had either failed to remedy the breach or committed an offence that was so serious it could not be remedied.
These rulings by the Commission allowed us to set important precedents in a number of key areas, including online privacy, the use of blogs and suicide reporting. To read more about last year's major cases please click here. To see every case the PCC has formally upheld since 1996 click here.