Report Rebekah Wade to the PCC – and do it today
The Sun carries on with it’s ‘traitors’ campaign today, but it is relegated to Page 2 (where they generally keep stories that they wish to soft-pedal). They’re on the back foot because Rebekah Wade stepped way, way over the line with yesterday’s actionable hissy-fit – but firm action is still required to bring this reckless editor to heel.
Pledgebank – Report Rebekah: I will spend an hour researching, drafting and submitting an independent complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about Rebekah Wade’s conduct and/or material published by the Sun before and after the 90-day terror law vote, but only if 100 other people do the same.
Ideally, we need 50 pledges by this afternoon, as such things need to be acted on swiftly (especially as many complaints – if sent by email – will require a link to the offending article(s), and the Sun takes these offline after a few days). If anyone requires scans or photocopies – that may be requested by the PCC following your complaint – then I have copies of most offending issues of the Sun right here on my desk. All you need do is ask.
Your complaint may relate to any or all of the following:
- The misrepresentation of John Tulloch’s views on this front page.
- Acting without sympathy and discretion over the personal grief or shock of any victim of the 7/7 atrocities, listed under ‘losers’ in yesterday’s Sun.
- The misguiding use of an ‘opinion poll’ with only one answer.
- The labelling of MPs who voted against the proposed legislation as ‘traitors’ in yesterday’s Sun (see also: front page from that same edition) and again today on Pg 2.
- Their use of conjecture/opinion presented as fact, relating directly to claims that the proposed legislation was supported by the majority of the public and this claim that; “As you made your voices heard in near-record numbers, senior Tories began to buckle – and Labour rebels started drifting back to the Government side.”
Let’s get to it…. if the PCC Code of Practice is any guide, John Tulloch is owed a full front-page correction and apology, and so are many MPs.
1 – Accuracy
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, mis-leading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published.
iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
5 – Intrusion into grief or shock
In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings, such as inquests.