The British tradition of suffering in silence is on the wane with
consumers complaining to media watchdogs in greater numbers than at any
stage in the past.
The Press Complaints Commission, set up in 1991 to ensure newspapers and
magazines uphold their code of practice, dealt with 2,500 complaints in
1995, a year on year increase of 28 per cent.
Of these complaints, 69 per cent related to inaccuracy in reporting, 12
per cent to intrusion of privacy, four percent to harassment and three
per cent to misrepresentation.
National daily newspapers attracted just over a quarter of the
complaints, 20 per cent concerned national Sundays and 19 per cent were
about regional dailies. However, magazines attracted just 6.7 per cent
PCC chairman Lord Wakeham said the increases did not indicate declining
journalistic standards but showed that the public felt more confident
about the Commission’s ability to achieve redress.
Meanwhile the Advertising Standards Authority, which monitors press and
poster advertising, is due to reveal in its annual report next week that
it received 12,800 complaints in 1995 compared to just 9,657 the
Both sets of figures follow an Independent Television Commission report
which showed that complaints have risen by around four per cent year on