TMAP denies teen safety claims

By Alyson Fixter

TMAP, the industry watchdog that investigates complaints about
teenage magazines, has denied accusations that it is not doing enough
to protect young readers.

In an article in The Guardian on Monday, the University of
Westminster claimed the body had only upheld one complaint in seven
years, and quoted the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, saying
TMAP did not have enough power or influence and did not meet often
enough.

But TMAP said it had upheld a number of complaints and insisted the panel took its job “very seriously”.

Chairwoman
Fleur Fisher said: “We meet quarterly because that’s how many
complaints we have. But we also all have certain magazines that we keep
an eye on, looking at what is being covered and how well it is being
covered.

“If any of us have any issues, we bring them into the meetings ourselves.”

Fisher added: “As well as the TMAP guidelines, which are very clear, we have a wider brief we take very seriously.

“We report to the obscene publications unit at the Home Office, so that’s how seriously it’s taken.”

The
most recent complaint upheld by TMAP was made against Sugar for an
article about prostitution in Zambia, which failed to make clear that
underage sex was illegal in the UK.

Fisher said: “The piece was about another country, but it should have mentioned the fact in the box at the end.”

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