Inscrutable

Revisiting the disappearance of the Daily Mail’s apology to Messrs Shonin and Van Gordon, I felt compelled to clarify that it isn’t Dacre law to wipe their slate clean as soon as it is convenient.

In fact, many of those so patronised with cheap Mail tokenism are allowed to revisit them online. Their pittance of redress tend to remain on Mailonline as a shrine to their sullied stature.

But for reasons only known unto the fickle consciences of Dacre’s web editors, it was the two-years-in-the-making apology that they chose to excise from their collective consciousness.

Granted, accountability is not their watchword. That, instead, is the raison d’etre for the Press Complaints Commission. A press watchdog of sorts – you gripe to them about journalistic miscreants and they’d broker a satisfactory settlement between offender and offended.

The process is straightforward (as opposed to simple), and, if you take the PCC’s word for it, effective. Browsing through their records might reinforce that sentiment – most complaints are resolved with PCC as broker and few cases go to adjudication.

But one of these supposedly satisfied clients might well have gotten a raw deal. A woman from Cumbernauld (a town outside Glasgow) wasn’t too pleased with an article in the Sunday Herald and she lodged a complaint. The PCC did its thing and according to its case record, the complaint was resolved “when the newspaper permanently deleted the article from its archive.”

Presumably, what is meant by “archive” is the newspaper’s online articles archive. For it to mean anything else would make this resolution pretty much farcical. Incidentally, that was pretty much what the outcome was – Mrs Kim Homer couldn’t possibly be too pleased to find this still online.

Maybe the Sunday Herald pulled a quick one on the woman and the regulators with some wise-arse wordplay, maybe they simply dropped the ball in this case. Either way, it doesn’t bode too well for “effective and independent self regulation“.

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~ by spiegel2071 on September 18, 2009.

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