PCC Review reveals seven-fold increase in complaints

Press watchdog made record number of investigations and rulings in 2009

The PCC has released its Annual Review for 2009, revealing it received it received more than 37,000 complaints during 2009, up from 4,700 complaints received the previous year. Around 25,000 complaints concerned Jan Moir’s article about the death of former Boyzone singer Stephen Gately. The watchdog also carried out a record a number of investigations and settled more complaints by mediation than at any other time in its history.

According to the Press Release issued by the PCC:

  • the PCC made 1731 rulings in 2009. In those cases the PCC required remedial action or criticised the editor in regard of 43% of the complaints;
  • the PCC resolved over 600 complaints to the satisfaction of the complainant;
  • complaints investigated were 1134. Over 50 per cent of all investigations looked at cases at national titles; 33 per cent concerned regional publications;
  • a customer survey showed that 80% of complainants said that the complaint had been dealt with thoroughly or very thoroughly;
  • the vast majority (83.9%) of corrections and apologies appeared either further forward than the offending material, on the same page or in a dedicated corrections column;
  • the PCC dealt with substantive complaints in an average of 18.4 working days (set against its target of 35 days);
  • 1134 investigations were carried out, over 50% into publications in national titles; 33% concerned regional titles.

The Review can be read on-line here.  Accompanying the Review is a podcast hosted by media commentator Roy Greenslade, who interviews the Chairman and the Director.