Wednesday 18 November 2009

IFJ to investigate PCC phone-hacking report

The International Federation of Journalists, which includes the NUJ among its members, is to "investigate the actions" of the Press Complaints Commission over its handling of an inquiry into the Guardian's phone-hacking allegations against the News of the World.
This PCC inquiry rejected the Guardian's claims. The Guardian has condemned the PCC's as "complacent" and its editor Alan Rusbridger yesterday resigned from the Editors Code Committee which underpins the work of the PCC.
The IFJ, which says is carrying out a review of media accountability systems as part of a global campaign to strengthen ethical journalism, has commissioned Jean-Paul Marthoz, an international journalist and writer, to review the actions of the PCC. His report is expected by the end of January.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the IFJ international Executive Committee which met in London at the weekend.
"This case raises serious questions about the role and responsibility of a press complaints body to be fair and honest in its dealings with the press," said Aidan White, IFJ general secretary. "If journalists and media cannot trust a self-regulator to be fair, the whole system of self-rule in media loses credibility."
The IFJ review will focus on the conduct of the PCC and its handling of the two inquiries into phone-hacking, the procedures it followed in reaching its conclusions and the wider implications for self-regulation for news media.
In December the IFJ will host an international conference in Indonesia on the future of press councils and media accountability systems in a changed communications environment. It is also an issue under scrutiny as part of an inquiry into the future of journalistic work which is being prepared for the IFJ world conference in Spain next year.
Story tip via Judith Townend of

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