The Press Standards Board of Finance Ltd (PressBoF) has announced that following industry-wide consultation it has agreed to extend the remit of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC
) to include editorial audio-visual material on newspaper and magazine websites.
The extension has been agreed recognising that 'online versions' of newspapers and magazines have moved on from the internet replication of material that already existed in a printed version of the publication to routinely carrying material not available in print form.
The accompanying guidance note explains that the PCC’s remit should be seen as covering editorial material on newspaper and magazine titles websites where it meets two key requirements:
1. That the editor of the newspaper or magazine is responsible for it and could reasonably have been expected both to exercise editorial control over it and apply the terms of the Code
2. That it was not pre-edited to conform to the on-line or off-line standards of another media regulatory body.
Tim Bowdler, chairman of PressBoF, commented: “It is extremely important that self regulation should evolve in a carefully considered manner to take account of the developing ways in which our publications, in print and on-line, communicate with readers. The purpose of the guidance note is to provide clarity for all parties in defining the PCC’s remit in this new territory”.
Sir Christopher Meyer, chairman of the PCC, added: “The range and quality of digital editorial material offered by newspapers and magazines have expanded at a dizzying pace over the last couple of years. These developments will only accelerate. What the industry has done in announcing this extension of the PCC’s remit is to underline its confidence in the system of common-sense regulation that we operate, and to demonstrate to the public that editorial information in the digital age – regardless of the format in which it is delivered – will be subject to high professional standards overseen by the Commission”.
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