13.5.04

PCC reveals its revised Code

The Press Complaints Commission has today unveiled its revised Code of Conduct which is due to come into effect on June 1st.

The Editor's Code of Practice Committee has revised the code in a bid to make it "shorter and crisper" as well as providing for expanding areas such as digital communications.

The key changes include:
>Re-emphasises that editors and publishers have the ultimate duty of care to implement the Code.
>Stresses that its rules apply to all editorial contributors, including non-journalists.
>Makes clear that it covers online versions of publications as well as printed copies.
>Insists that publications which are criticised in adverse adjudications should include a reference to the PCC in the headline.
>Extends the protection of private correspondence to include digital communications – prohibiting the interception of private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails, unless in the public interest.
>Introduces a new rule to prevent payment to criminals for material which seeks to exploit, glorify or glamorise crime.
>Tightens the rules so that a newspaper which paid a criminal in the belief that it would elicit material in the public interest could not publish if no public interest emerged.

The Beckham textsex saga seems to have influenced the extension of protection relating to correspondence so that text messages would now be covered - unless proved to be in the public interest.

MB is also pleased to note that the revised code has done away with the derided reference to longlens photography and clause 3(2) now simply becomes "It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent" - this does however leave scope for photographing in public places.

Read the revised Code HERE

The existing Code HERE

Guardian comment HERE

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