Mail tops official PCC league of shame - but title says just 0.01 per cent of stories breached Editors' Code

The Press Complaints Commission has produced a sort of league of shame as requested by MPs on the media select committee.

It details the titles which have most frequently committed a breach of the Editors’ Code between 2011 and 2013.

It details only the small number of upheld adjudications plus those where there was an investigation and the PCC found there was a breach of the code but that the publication made sufficient remedial action. Hacked Off published a different list earlier this week which included the many cases which were settled without the PCC needing to investigate.

The PCC's top Editors' Code breakers (2011-2013) are as follows:

  •  Mail/Mail Online: 47
  • The Sun: 19
  • The Daily Telegraph: 17
  • Evening Standard: 10
  • The Guardian: 10
  • The Independent: 9
  • Sunday Mail: 8
  • Daily Record: 7
  • Daily Mirror: 6
  • The Scottish Sun: 6

Full table available here (breaches of code by publication at the end).

 The Daily Mail issued the following statement: 

As the PCC makes clear, these tables do not distinguish between the Daily Mail and Mail Online, which is not only the world’s biggest newspaper website, but also generates more than 50 per cent of its content entirely independently of the newspaper. Between them the Daily Mail and Mail Online published 146,500 stories in 2013 of which just 17 – 0.0117 per cent – were in breach. In every case the PCC ruled that the Mail had offered a satisfactory remedy.

The enormous reach of Mail Online – with 161 million monthly unique browsers worldwide – further distorts the statistics compared to news websites behind pay-walls because the majority of complaints are based on the online version of articles. Thus not only are more breaches recorded against the Daily Mail/Mail Online than the Sun (which has a pay-wall), but the Daily Telegraph has four times as many as The Times (also with a pay-wall), and the Guardian more than twice as many. The same considerations apply to resolved complaints – where the PCC makes clear no breach was established. 

The Mail takes all complaints very seriously, and corrects errors prominently and promptly. It remains a fact that no adjudications were upheld against the Daily Mail or Mail Online in 2013.

Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is also chairman of the Editors' Code Committee which draws up the code.

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