PCC cautions press against harassing Kate Middleton family

With only a few weeks until the Royal Wedding where Prince William will marry Kate Middleton it can come as no surprise that the media interest and quest for pre-wedding coverage of the couple and everything and anything to do with them will see reporters and photographers pursue stories and pictures with renewed vigour.

Kate Middleton and her family are by now no strangers to media attention and it would be naive of them or the media consuming public to think that in the run up to the wedding there would not be a media offensive on Kate Middleton and her wider family BUT such offensive does not have to offend which is where this week's memo from the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) comes into play.

To the extent it is fair that the media seek out Kate Middleton and her family as legitimate targets for attention at this time, the fact Kate is marrying William does not give reporters and photographers carte blanche to ignore the normal and accepted rules of engagement and regulatory codes and laws. As reported in Press Gazette, following a request made on behalf of the Middleton family, the PCC has sent a memo to editors reminding them to play by the rules and show restraint - or persuade their reporters/photographers to do so and adhere to those rules in the manner in which they obtain their material.

Whether through staffers or via agency photographers it is the duty of editors to ensure that the copy and pictures they allow to be printed or broadcast are not in breach of the regulatory codes or otherwise violate the rights of the subjects - in this case the Middletons.

The Middletons cannot deny and seek to hide from the fact that they are legitimately of media interest but to the extent that the Middletons have to accept they are a legitimate target the media for their part have to ensure that when they shoot pictures of or report on their target they do so within the rules that apply.

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