If you have a question that is not covered here, please feel free to contact us for advice.
THE FUTURE OF THE PCC
1. I've read that the PCC is closing down. Is this true?
The Press Complaints Commission is currently in a phase of transition; and it will soon be replaced by a new structure of independent self-regulation for the newspaper and magazine industries. Following the recommendations Sir Brian Leveson made in his Report published in November 2012, the magazine and newspaper industries have been creating a new, self-regulatory body - the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), in accordance with the Leveson principles. It is expected that IPSO will commence operations in September 2014. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the PCC will therefore be closing down in September.
In the meantime, the PCC will continue to deal with complaints from members of the public, which can be made in the normal way throughout the transition period. All complaints that are already being handled on the closing date of the PCC will be carried over to IPSO. The terms of the Editors' Code of Practice remain the same, and members of PCC staff are available at any time to offer advice, including on an emergency out-of-hours basis for concerns relating to harassment or attention from journalists and photographers.
2. Can I still make a complaint?
Yes, absolutely. Complaints can be made in the normal way throughout the transition period. The terms of the Editors' Code of Practice remain the same, and members of PCC staff are available at any time to offer advice, including on an emergency out-of-hours basis for concerns relating to harassment or attention from journalists and photographers.
3. I have a complaint already registered with the PCC. What will happen to it?
Your complaint will continue to be handled according to our normal procedures. There is no need to contact us about this, though please feel free to do so if you have a particular concern you wish to discuss.
the complaints process
1. Does the
PCC deal with all newspapers and magazines in the UK?
We can formally consider complaints about most commercially available UK newspapers and magazines, provided that they subscribe to our funding body, PressBof. Please note that from January 2010, we are unable to deal with complaints about titles published by Northern & Shell. These titles are: Daily Express; Sunday Express; Scottish Daily Express; Scottish Sunday Express; Daily Star; Daily Star Sunday; OK!; New magazine; and Star magazine. This is due to a funding dispute between Northern & Shell and PressBof. For a full explanation of this, please click here.
For new complaints about any of these publication, we will pass on the relevant Northern & Shell contact details to the complainant.
In some other cases where a newspaper or magazine does not fall under the PCC's jurisdiction, we can pass on correspondence to the relevant editor -although this will depend on the circumstances of the complaint.
2. How does the PCC complaints process work?
The PCC's principle role in any complaint is essentially to act as a dispute resolution service. Through a process of mediation between the complainant and the editor, we will try to come up with a resolution that is - primarily - satisfactory to you. Our approach is non-confrontational, non-bureaucratic and our services are totally free to use. We work transparently and all correspondence is seen by both sides so you are always clear about what the publication is proposing. You can find out more about our complaints process here .
3. When does the PCC formally investigate a complaint?
If a complaint falls within our remit (and is neither delayed nor subject to related legal proceedings - see paragraph below) we will assess whether it raises a possible breach of the Editors' Code of Practice. This may include further correspondence with the complainant to establish their complaint clearly. If we think the complaint does not raise a breach of the Code, we will explain why to the complainant. If we think it does, we will initiate an investigation by writing to the editor of the relevant publication.