Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Chris Wheal: 'The PCC failed to protect my sister'

Another hard hitting blog post by journalist Chris Wheal accusing the Press Complaints Commission of failing to protect his sister from thge media after the inquest on her nine-year-old son Jamie Bray, who was killed in an accident while playing on a swing.

Chris writes: "The Press Complaints Commission asked the media to leave my sister alone after her son’s inquest. So far a news agency (SWNS), a sell-your-story specialist (Phoenix) and two magazines (Full House and That’s Life) have been in touch. And the BBC stood outside filming.

"The PCC has no authority over the agencies (or freelances). It does not cover broadcasters at all. Full House has chosen not to sign up to the PCC’s code and Bauer’s Take a Break doesn’t seem to care. The PCC’s version of self-regulation has failed."

Chris praises regional journalists: "The local press, which did get the PCC instruction, were great. Several did get in touch with me and respected the family’s privacy. But there is no way for these “real lives” magazines or agencies and freelances to check PCC warnings."

He is scathing about the Press Complaints Commission: "The PCC has launched a publicity campaign to alert the public to the service it offers. But half the media don’t know about it let alone the public. Even those journalists familiar with the PCC, don’t know how to find out who has asked for privacy. More needs to be done.

"And what about freelances, and agencies, and broadcasters, all of whom are not covered anyway? And what about the likes of Full House, which chooses not to sign up to the PCC? I work predominantly online only. How is the new media covered? We need a system that encompasses all media."

Chris urges: "But it is also down to us journalists to get our own act together. There was no excuse for the letters after the inquest. A Google search for “Jamie Bray” would have found my blog top of the list and nobody could be in any doubt from that about the family’s request for privacy. Contacting me is easy.

"Journalism, as well as its self-regulation, needs a kick up the backside".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yes but does the PCC cover you and your incessant ramblings over your poor sisters loss. Leave her alone and stop courting publicity yourself!!!