Editors urged to act swiftly on complaints

The Press Complaints Commission has given editors a sharp reminder
about their responsibilities to readers and to the commission when
complaints arrive on their desks.

In a Best Practice note issued
last week the PCC admonished editors who do not reply to complaints
until they have been registered with the PCC.

“Editors should
reply swiftly to those who have a potential grievance – something that
is in the interests of both the complainant and the editor, who may
avoid a formal PCC investigation,”

the commission warns. It adds that this happens only in a small number of cases.

The
PCC expects editors to tell complainants about the commission’s
existence if they cannot resolve their complaints directly and
encourages editors to carry regular slots in their papers advertising
the PCC’s existence.

While people have two months from
publication of articles to lodge a PCC complaint, editors should be
aware that the commission was likely to be flexible with this limit if
the complainant had not been informed of its existence.

The commission also urges editors to co-operate with the PCC to resolve complaints swiftly.

Lastly,
it reminds editors to tag archived pieces with published resolutions or
private warnings, so that errors are not repeated.

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