Wednesday 12 January 2011

PCC budget not hit by Northern & Shell departure

The Press Complaints Commission has responded to the Media Standards Trust’s questions about the implications of the withdrawl of Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell from the self-regulation system and said its service will not be affected by the loss of income.

The PCC says that N&S has said its withdrawal was for monetary reasons.

The series of questions (in bold) asked by the MST and the replies from the PCC:

1. What impact will Northern & Shell’s withdrawal have on the PCC’s overall funding? Given that the amount contributed by national newspapers is kept secret it is currently not possible for those outside the industry to work out what effect the exit will have.

The budget for 2011 has been fixed, and Northern and Shell’s departure won’t affect that at all.

2. Will the PCC be able to maintain the same level of service on a lower budget?

The budget will not be lower.

3. In the PCC statement – and for the first time – you revealed some of the publications not covered by the PCC (i.e. Northern & Shell publications). Will the PCC now publish a list of all those that subscribe?

Details of subscribers are a matter for PressBof, and the Governance Review made recommendations in that area to PressBof.

4. Was Northern & Shell clear as to what motivated its withdrawal? And, if so, is it clear under what terms it might return to the system?

All we have been informed is that the decision was taken for monetary reasons. We hope that N and S will rejoin the system.

  • The MST has thanked the PCC for "its swift and informative response".

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