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Lord Hunt: ‘Newspapers should deal with their own complaints’

The chairman of the Press Complaints Commission has said that newspapers will have to produce an annual report of their standards of journalism under plans for a new regulatory body.

Lord Hunt was speaking to online publication Exaro ahead of a meeting today with regional and national newspaper editors about plans to scrap the PCC and replace it with an independent regulator.

He spoke about a two-tier system which would see every newspaper and magazine regulated by the PCC having an agreed procedure under which a complainant can seek redress from the publication.

This would see the publisher’s chief executive taking responsibility for its complaints system with each title having an independent person to decide on complaints and what it should do to redress the issue.

Said Lord Hunt: “I would make the chief executive or the senior management responsible for the newspaper or magazine. They would be responsible for the internal standards of that organisation and if the standards slipped the buck would stop with them.”

For those who remain unsatisfied after going through the first tier of the complaints system, they would then take the matter to the new regulator.

Lord Hunt also talked of plans to extend the remit to cover blogs and online publications.

The proposals would see bloggers who write on current affairs invited to volunteer to be regulated by the new press watchdog through carrying a ‘kitemark’ showing that they abide by the new body’s code of practice which they would lose if complaints against them were repeatedly upheld.

Said Lord Hunt: “I want accuracy to be the new gold standard for blogs. Once they have agreed to be accurate, everything would follow from that.”

Exaro reports that this regulatory oversight would mean bloggers having to pay a fee to the new body, which would be funded by the publications that it regulates.

Hunt will present his proposals to overhaul the regulator when he gives evidence to Lord Leveson’s inquiry next year.


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  • December 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    More Establishment meddling with the web.

    Blogs shouldn’t have to be accurate.

    They’re lawless and anarchic and quite often completely nuts.

    But they do have their bad points as well.

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