Press complaints soar tohit record high in 2007

Complaints to the press watchdog reached record numbers last year, due in part to outrage over a magazine which mocked the disabled son of the glamour model Jordan.

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) dealt with 4,340 complaints in 2007, a rise of 31 per cent from 2006.

The increase was partly attributable to two cases, the PCC said. One was Heat magazine publishing a sticker which bore a picture of Harvey, Jordan's five-year-old son, with the words: "Harvey wants to eat me!" Harvey suffers from septo-optic dysplasia, a condition that causes blindness and weight problems.

The sticker prompted 143 complaints to the PCC, which resolved the case after Heat apologised and made a donation to charity.

The second case involved a Daily Mirror column by Tony Parsons, headlined "Oh, up yours, senor", regarding the Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. One of the complainants was the Portuguese ambassador to Britain, who had been urged by Parsons in his article to "keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut".

The column attracted 485 complaints and is set to be resolved, the PCC said.

Even without those two cases, the number of complaints received in 2007 would represent an all-time high. The PCC chairman, Sir Christopher Meyer, said: "These figures reflect three things: the PCC's greater visibility from a permanent campaign to publicise its services throughout the UK; the extension of the commission's remit to cover more information than ever before, including video material on the websites of newspapers and magazines; and growing confidence among the public in what the commission has to offer.

"This now ranges from confidential settlements, through published corrections and apologies, to formal rulings against newspapers and magazines, many of which took forward our case law on the vexed question of where to set the boundary between private life and information that is legitimately in the public interest.

"Beyond this, we placed an increased emphasis in 2007 on sorting out problems before publication, which could otherwise have led to a formal complaints. This included in particular deploying our anti-harassment service and dispersing media scrums."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Guru Careers: PR Account Director / SAM

£50 - 60k (DOE) + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A PR Account Director / SAM ...

Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Insight Analyst

£32 - £37K + extensive benefits: Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Ins...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific