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Press Council review is out

By Steven | November 16, 2007

The review of the operations of the Press Council has now been released.

It’s long. There’s an extensive list of recommendations, and most of them look pretty sensible to me. They involve:

—      a much expanded budget and administration;

—      new fast-track complaints mechanisms (a mediation option involving a Chief Executive, and a rapid-consideration option for a small committee to determine urgent cases (with a right of appeal to the whole PC);

—      the introduction of the new, elevated penalty of a “censure” (though no financial penalties, contrary to what NBR has written here)

—      a general tightening of timeframes and formalisation of the structure of decisions;

—      regular review of the Statement of Principles (starting immediately);

—      the dumping of the requirement for complainants to waive their right to go to court;

—      encouragement of parties (though not lawyers) to attend PC meetings;

—      a revamp of the website;

—      moves to make the PC more independent;

—      moves to promote the PC more;

—      moves to increase the PC’s independence;

—      recommendations that the PC engage in advocacy and research.

I hope the powers that be act on this, but it remains to be seen.

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