Media Standards Trust welcomes PCC governance review report

The Media Standards Trust (MST) today welcomed the Press Complaints Commission’s governance review, calling the recommendations “detailed and intelligent”.

The review acknowledges the need for reform of the current system and challenges the PCC and the industry to make self-regulation more transparent, more accountable, and more independent. It echoes many of the recommendations made to the review by the Media Standards Trust.

Martin Moore, Director of the Media Standards Trust said: “This is a good start. There are substantive recommendations here to ensure some real change – provided the PCC and the industry accept them and make them happen.

“The Trust is pleased to see that so many of the recommendations contained in the Media Standards Trust’s submission have been adopted by the review.”

The recommendations which echo the MST’s report include:
• clarifying the purpose of the PCC,
• increasing the proactivity of the Commission around issues of public concern,
• providing greater clarity and transparency about complaints, and
• being more open about funding

In total the review appears to have accepted part or all of 19 of the MST’s 28 recommendations, contained in its submission ‘Can independent self-regulation keep standards high and preserve press freedom?’

However, on important key issues the review has shifted responsibility back to the Commission and the industry. For example in determining adequate sanctions, where the review has recommended the Commission and PressBof set up a working group.

The MST will continue to press for radical reform on this and other issues.

Martin Moore said: “It is now for the industry to decide how much support to give to real change. Without real change the gap between self-regulation and the courts will continue to grow, and the current system will look increasingly anachronistic in a converged media world.”