Dacre lashes out at PCC critics

Paul Dacre has launched a stinging attack on the PCC’s “ignorant and prejudiced” critics.

The Daily Mail editor, who chairs the press watchdog’s editors’ code of practice committee, said “those who should know better” emit “a huge ignorance about how self-regulation works”.

Dacre turned his ire on politicians, bloggers and “self-appointed media accountability groups” in the code committee’s annual statement.

The idea that newspapers should be suspended and/or fined “would bring joy to Robert Mugabe” plus “Messrs Sue, Grabbit and Runne”.

“It cannot be said too often that the imposition of sizable fines would result in complainants and particularly the press having to use lawyers to defend their interests – signalling the death of a free fast system of complaints adjudication,” he said.

“Much criticism simply misses the point, for it is an ineluctable truth that many provincial newspapers and some nationals are now in a near-terminal economic condition.”

Though the industry “can do more to improve standards”, he said critics would “never concede the truth that the PCC has been a great success story”.

(Source: Code committee statement)

This article appears in issue 246 of Media Digest.

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