24 May 2005
Harassment hotline launched by regulators
Ofcom and PCC offer guidance for those at the centre of media attention
Ofcom has today issued guidance to people who find themselves at the centre of a "media scrum" and are concerned about the conduct of broadcast journalists.
As a post-transmission regulator, Ofcom has no powers to intervene in relation to acts which take place prior to the broadcast of a programme. Together wtih the Press Complaints Commission, the watchdog has, however, agreed a formalised system to deal with complaints about the conduct of broadcast journalists. In its published guidance, Ofcom recommends:
"If you find yourself or someone you know at the centre of a news story and have immediate concerns about the presence of or behaviour of broadcast journalists you can contact the Press Complaints Commission who have agreed to forward any concerns to the relevant broadcasters who will consider whether it is appropriate to take action. The Press Complaints Commission operates a 24 hour advice service which you can contact if you believe that you are being harassed."
The hotline, which is stated to be for emergencies only, is available on 07659 152656.
The Press Complaints Commission has issued its own guidance in relation to unwanted approaches by journalists.