Letter: Disciplinary powers will give PCC bite

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Sir: The Press Complaints Commission cannot effectively enforce its own Code of Practice. Unless disciplinary powers are given to the PCC, it will remain ineffective. The profession of journalism should be controlled by its members in the same way as solicitors and doctors control theirs. In extreme cases, proprietors and publishers should be heavily fined and editors suspended, or even removed from office, for bringing the press into disrepute.

Such measures would concentrate minds and raise the standards of sections of the press, which are at times non-existent due to the requirements placed upon them by proprietors to win circulation wars. It would be mandatory for the whole of the press to be included and be subject to the Code of Conduct and disciplinary proceedings.

The present chairman of the PCC should resign. To have given a public interview condemning a member of the commission and seeking sanctions against that member without any hearing of the commission is the negation of justice. In future, its proceedings should be chaired by a distinguished retired judge of the High Court.

Yours faithfully,



11 November