PCC investigates Telegraph for Lib Dem ‘fishing expedition’

The Press Complaints Commission is investigating the Daily Telegraph’s covert reporting of Liberal Democrat reporters.

The party’s president, Tim Farron MP, has written to the press watchdog complaining that the newspaper carried out a “fishing expedition” that wasn’t in the public interest.

The Telegraph made the secret recordings at constituency surgeries. The ensuing exclusives supposedly exposed a number of differences between what the Lib Dems were saying about their Tory coalition partners in public and what they felt privately.

Clause 10.2 of the PCC’s editors’ code of practice says that “engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge” can “generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means”.

It can only be used when there is a “prima facie” likelihood of acquiring information critical for a news report.

The PCC has ruled against “fishing expeditions” in previous cases.

(Source: MediaGuardian)

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