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Unit 7: Understanding the Creative
Learning outcome 3:
Understand the regulation of the media
Name: Sophie Baker
Understand the regulation of the media sector
Use this workbook to help you with this learning outcome. There is some guidance
and further notes, which you should read and then remove, replacing it with your
Which regulatory body did you research?
The regulatory body I research was the Press Complaints Commission (PCC)
What are they in charge of regulating?
The Press Council founded the PCC in 1953 with the aim in mind to maintain
and reinforce high standards of the ethics within journalism. Nowadays the PCC
is known as the IPSO as of the 8th, September 2014 due to the company being
closed down and replaced. The IPSO still enforce values over the ethics of
journalism by having the public send in complaints over any article that they
have read and have found to be offensive.
When was the body set up? Why was it set up?
The reason to why the PCC (Press Complaints Commission) was created was
because there were complaints over what articles were printing and saying over
local or/ and worldwide topics. This is whether they were offensive to someone’s
gender, age, race, sexuality, etc. or by someone not being happy on behalf of
the subjects within the article. So the PCC was set-up so that they could
reinforce the ethical values within the print based media sector involving
journalism. However the company had no legal power but was funded because
of it being founded by the Press Council meaning newspapers and magazines
contributed to the costs voluntarily making the company self-regulating. Soon
the PCC received a mass amount of criticism after the lack of action/
contributing to the ‘phone hacking affaire’. These complaints involved Prime
Minister David Cameron calling the company to be replaced in 2011. Lord Hunt
replaced the PCC with the IPSO who take in public complaints towards
published articles and take action where needed.
How is this organisation funded? Why is it funded that way? Are there any
benefits or drawbacks to being funded this way?
The PCC was a self-regulation company. Meaning that they, as a company,
took care of their own legal, ethical or safety standards rather than have
someone outside of the company (a third party monitor) to enforce those
standards. The disadvantage to being a self-regulation company is that they are
more likely to fail due to the conflict of interest due to the company is ‘policing’
them. If the company’s failure becomes aware to the public they can be policed.
The advantages of this kind of funding is that they company can begin by
maintaining and organising all of their resources personally. Which for many is
more helpful and less stressful than having a third party. However a third party
is more likely to be less biased and aware of the dangers going on within the
What powers does the regulatory body have? What can they do if
someone breaks their rules? Who gives these powers to the body?
The power that the PCC and now the IPSO has over the publication of articles
in newspapers and magazines covers a wide ground of topics all with
regulations and rules. If not taken into account the writer or/ and the place of
publication has to write and publish a written apology. In other cases they can
be fined and taken to court on the grounds of lack of privacy/ respect or/and
harassment. For instance the first Code of Practice is ‘Accuracy’. Within this
Code of Practice states that, ‘A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or
distortion once recognised much be corrected, promptly and with due
prominence, and – where appropriate- an apology published.’ Other topics
journalists have to take into account in their Code of Practice are ‘Privacy’,
‘Children’, ‘Hospitals’, ‘Victims of sexual assault’, ‘Confidential sources’, etc. All
of which have regulations that have to be taken into account and if not action
must be taken place in regards to those who have been effected, offended or/
and harmed by the publications.
How does the industry use it?
The PCC, now IPSO, doesn’t require every article published to be sent to them
before publication. When a journalist writes an article the editor in chief of the
newspaper or magazine reads through all of the articles about to be published.
Then once approved and published the public read said articles and if they see
ethical issues in regards to themselves, the subject(s) of the article or possibly
others who may read this and take offense to it they can send in a complaint to
the IPSO who check the article to make sure that they follow the Editor’s code.
The Editor’s Code is the Code of Practice for the IPSO from the PCC. These
provide the rules needed for all the journalists out there working for newspapers
and magazines. If not followed they can experience circumstances in regards to
their writing. Whether it is writer or/ and the place of publication. The IPSO also
states on their website that they provide advice to editors and journalists,
training and guidance, so that they can uphold the highest possible standards
when publishing articles.
How can the public use it?
The IPSO runs a heavy portion on what the public say about the articles
published daily. Yes the IPSO also provide training, guidance and advice to
editors and journalists to make sure they understand the rules needed from the
Editor’s Code (Code of Practice in reference to the PCC) and don’t break the
ethical rules needed for their articles towards the public. But the public then help
run the IPSO by handing in their complaints. These complaints come in due to
the Editor’s Code and the rules the IPSO say is needed for writing articles. The
IPSO state that they will take precaution when these are broken so the public
rely on said company for keeping the promises that they state.
What kinds of regulatory issues does your body deal with the most?
The regulatory issue that the
IPSO have to deal with is the
accuracy and the action taken
charge with their work. For
many people that issue
complaints they don’t receive
help or response on serious
issues in reference to certain
articles. In September, 2014 a
large group protested against
the IPSO due to them sending in complaints referring to pieces of work about
sexual abuse. The IPSO did nothing in regards to these complaints firing even
more of them towards and causing a protest. This altogether gave the company
a bad reputation.
Find a case study, which demonstrates the regulatory body working in practice.
In February, 2016 a woman who remained anonyms wrote a complaint towards
the IPSO about an article published in the ‘Lincolnshire Echo’. The complaint
was in regards to the Clause 11, ‘Victims of Sexual Assault’. The article,
published only on the newspapers website, discussed the male rapist, whose
name and location in which he lives in was mentioned in the article, had raped a
number of children. Of which was the daughter of the woman who had sent the
complaint and was speaking on behalf of her due to article referring to who she
was. The woman said that the fresh coverage of this article had caused her
daughter a lot of distress. However, in defence of the article, there needed to be
coverage for the sake of the public to know that justice had been served
towards the criminal. They had mentioned personal details about the criminal
but not the location of the abuse. The newspaper stated that they didn’t think
that they had violated Clause 11 because they had taken care in not mentioning
the location of abuse. In conclusion the findings of the case supported the
newspapers claim that they did not commit violations in regards to Clause 11.
The case was upheld towards the complaint because there was no offenses to
support Clause 11 in this article to support the woman’s complaint with her
Find a second case study, which demonstrates the regulatory body working in
On the 1st March, 2016 a woman named Lauren Booth sent a complaint to the
IPSO about an article the ‘Daily Mail’ had published violating Clause 1,
‘Accuracy’ and Clause 12 ‘Discrimination’ with the headline, “How Cherie’s
sister has become a cheerleader for Islamic zealots: Twice bankrupt, and living
as a Muslim convert with a ‘husband’ who has a second wife around the corner,
she’s now raising cash for a deeply troubling cause” published on the 11th
January, 2016. The complaint illustrated that Booth found that the article
published showed a lot inaccuracies due to the article being written about her
husband, Sohale Ahmed, and claimed that he was still married to his former
wife and was claimed to be a bigamist. The article also outlined details about
her saying that she was ‘arguably extreme’ due to her ‘mainstream’ political
views. The newspapers workers and writers defended the article claiming
accuracy and that Booth’s complaint was biased against her findings. In
conclusion, the case the complaint was not upheld due to, ‘The complainant is
not in a marriage to her partner which is recognised under UK law. The
newspaper was entitled to draw a distinction between a legal marriage and a
religious one, and to use inverted commas around the terms when explaining
the distinction to its readers. There was no breach of Clause 12.’
You should answer the following questions using the information you have
gained so far in the unit to help you provide examples to support your opinions.
You may also wish to undertake further research to help you produce detailed
Should there be regulation of the media?
I think that there should be regulations in the media due to the public being the
ones getting the benefit of witnessing the aftereffects of what the media sectors
put out there. For the majority of media companies the publications from them
are done by one person or a small group. The comments and statements made
within them can be biased and offensive towards people’s religions, beliefs,
sexual orientation, sex, race, etc. Having regulations within the media sector
allows the likely hood of people being offended less likely. As well as having
companies such as the IPSO allow people to put these opinions and complaints
forward and have a higher chance of having them sorted out rather than just
sending in a complaint which doesn’t get supported.
Should regulators be independent?
I think that regulators should be independent because doing this allows the
company to follow their own rules and structure within the control of the
government making their structure change and leaving the company to their
own devices. Working independent allows the company to work to their own
regulations as well and with timing that enables them to work without the
governments schedule and time frame making the company wait and possibly
get no results.
Answer just one of the following questions with a long form answer using
specific examples to help support your opinions.
Why do we allow regulatory bodies to censor media products like films
and video games?
One of the reasons to why there are regulatory bodies to censor media
products such as films and video games is because they can be accessed by
anyone without. Doing this can be harmful towards certain age groups due to
adult themes such as sex, strong language and violence which can be harmful
to not only certain age groups (12, 15, 18, etc.) but also certain morals and
beliefs which certain people will find upsetting and unwanted to view. Such as
having the warnings on the back of DVD and Video Game cases which explain
the regulations within the content, small or large. But these regulatory bodies
don’t always apply. For instance if a film is marked as a ‘15’ for the appropriate
age viewers and up but it won’t always apply. Many viewers below the age
won’t find the themes and content upsetting or harmful but there are viewers
aged 15 and up who will not want to watch no matter the age rating due to the
scenes still being harmful towards them.
Is it important to regulate adverts?
Is people’s privacy or freedom of information more important?