View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Media Law
April 28, 2011

Whittingdale: Greatest loss of confidence in self regulation

By Andrew Pugh

The Press Complaints Commission came under fire again last night after being branded a ‘toothless tiger’in the House of Commons.

The criticisms were made at an adjournment debate on press regulation and one week after Labour leader Ed Miliband called for an independent inquiry into how the press is regulated.

Conservative MP John Whittingdale, chairman of the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, claimed the News of the World phone-hacking had led to the greatest ever loss of confidence in the system of press self-regulation, run by the PCC.

Addressing Edward Vaizey, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, he said: ‘Does my honorable friend recognise that the revelations that have streamed out over the past six months have probably led to a greater loss of confidence in the self-regulation of the press than there has been at any previous time?

“I strongly support self-regulation, but if the public are to regain confidence in that self-regulation, the PCC will have to be seen to have stronger powers.”

Whittingdale was backed by Labour MP Michael McCann – who claimed there was a ‘serious lack of confidence in the system’– and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries.

‘I am one of the members who can speak with authority as one who has been maligned time after time by page after page of pure lies, but I have never gone to the PCC, which I regard as a toothless tiger,’said Dorries

Content from our partners
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue
Press Gazette publishes ultimate guide to reader conversion and monetisation
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them

Vaizey, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, defended the PCC.

Responding to the criticisms, he replied: ‘It is my experience that the PCC has a strong appreciation of the need to be seen to be effective and robust. It spreads the word on what it does and what it can do. It seeks to be transparent in how it works and is extremely helpful in providing advice.”

He added: ‘I have been keen to stress that the system is self-regulatory, and no government – not this government and not the previous government – want statutory regulation of the press.”

The PCC was urged to look into the issues of due prominence for apologies, and whether anonymous contributors should be included in letters pages and online comments.

Topics in this article :

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network