MEDIA: Complaints rise for watchdogs

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 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

of complaints.



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

previous year.



Both sets of figures follow an Independent Television Commission report

which showed that complaints have risen by around four per cent year on

year.



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