Introduction to the Code of Practice
The foundation stone of the successful self-regulatory system which the Press Complaints Commission administers is the Code of Practice.
The Code performs a dual function: it gives the industry a firm set of principles to guide it; and it gives the Commission a clear and consistent framework within which it can address complaints from members of the public. The Code is, crucially, the industry's own Code. Although it must be ratified by the independent PCC to take effect, it is the fact that the Code is drafted by the industry that ensures the unswerving commitment of all sectors of the newspaper and magazine publishing sector to self-regulation and to the PCC. In addition, the incorporation of the Code into editors' and journalists' contracts of employment provides self-regulation with a powerful sanction.
The Code of Practice Committee is made up of editors from across the newspaper and magazine industries. The members of the Code Committee are appointed on the basis of nominations from the five publishers' associations of the press in the United Kingdom (the Newspaper Society, the Newspaper Publishers Association, the Scottish Newspapers Publishers' Association, the Scottish Daily Newspaper Society and the Periodical Publishers Association).
The Chairman and the Director of the PCC also attend meetings of the Code of Practice Committee in an ex-official capacity.
To see how the Code of Practice has developed over time please click here.