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Press complaints commission.

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The press complaints commission is closing down.

Surely in an ideal world it would be a big deal. Having the body that’s there for you air your grievances against the press close down. But it really isn’t.

The commission hasn’t been effective for a very long time. People have complained to it hoping for the commission to sort out bad reporting, but often the opposite has happened. With the issues being complained about being pushed further in the public by the press. Much like a child being told no and doing it any way. Repeatedly.

And let’s be honest, they where never really going to do anything against the press Its a body made up completely of people who work within the press. So it’s in their best interest to keep the bodies that own the press on side.

So are we the public going to notice any change? Doubtful.

How many people have noticed the PCC being active since it was started? Very few.

How many people have had their issues resolved by the PCC? Again very few.

How many people have heard anything good about the PCC in the time since its launch? Again very few, if any.

So will something replace the PCC?

As far as I’ve been able to work out no. And I don’t think it would be a good idea to set another version of it up any time soon. Theres too much bad feeling towards anything that should protect people from the press.

If the PCC had done its job properly then there wouldn’t be a need for it to close. People would feel safe knowing that there was something other than the court to protect them and theirs.

Going through the court system to get things sorted out is expensive and the press will always have a lot more money to throw at the process and drag it out as long as possible.

Which given the way the law is written and just how slippery the lawyers can be, it could take years to get a one sentence retraction printed in the back of the paper. One sentence that is over looked by everyone, even the people who are looking for that sentence.

One sentence to say sorry for destroying someones life. For making them undesirable number one. Changing everything that anyone ever thought of them. Including their own loved ones and friends who have known them for years.

There needs to be time for the dust to settle and for people to move on from this disaster that has been the PCC.

And when the time is right start-up another commission to keep the press in check. One that isn’t run by people who’s livelihoods depends on keeping the press on side. Something that has the power to truly stand up to the press and make them behave. And when they have done wrong, make sure that their apologies are printed in the same way and prominence that the original article was printed in.

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Sun on Sunday

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It was announced late last week that there will be a new sunday news paper.

The Sun on Sunday. From now on known as SoS.

Murdock flew into the country at short notice, It was thought that he had flown into the country to personally deal with the mess of having five of his staff arrested for bribery. Paying shed loads of money for information that they shouldnt have had any access too. An MOD officer and Senior Police officer where also arrested at the same time for taking the bribes.

The staff was suspended by their direct line managers. Within a few hours of Murdock being back in the country they were re-instated and let loose on the paper. Normally in a situation like that if they were re-instated it would be taken as a show of faith by their boss. But in this case its hard to see it that way.

Over the past year or so there have been so many people from News Internationals papers arrested for things like this and phone hacking. Some of them such as Andy Coulson, had already left and where working new jobs. In the case of Coulson working in a highly sensitive environment within the government.

Cant really say anything about him being a shady character when the world of politics is full of shady people who are just interested in what they can get for themselves.

Some like Rebecca Brooks had risen through the levels of the Corps and Where in charge of others and making sure they did things legally. Turns out not the be the case.

So last year Murdock closed down the News of the World because of actions like those that got five of his staff arrested last week.

And instead of sorting out this latest mess on his doorstep he is releasing another paper. One which he hopes will be successful. Even though it will be accessed of performing the same practices as its sister papers. Which will be hard to disprove as the paper will be using some of the same staff as the NotW and the Sun.

The sun is the cheapest paper out there at the moment and they are promising that the SoS will be the cheapest paper on a sunday. Which wouldn’t be hard given that your avarage sunday paper costs about two pounds these days. Often the sunday papers are just a round-up of the previous weeks news and so don’t really contain much that you couldn’t have read in the week day paper or online.

And for the first week or two it will sell like hot cakes. People will be buying it to see what its like and mostly just to say that they bought it. when the NotW issued its last paper they sold the highest number of papers in their history. A lot of people bought the paper then as a way of seeing just what we were losing. The paper had been going for over a hundred years and most people will have read it at some point in their life.

In this day and age papers are becoming obsolete. Less and less people are buying them and instead getting their news through websites. Often websites for the very papers they aren’t buying anymore.

Papers over the years have become more and more expensive to produce and buy. And as a result many people aren’t buying them anymore. The times another Murdock publication has started charging people to use their paper’s website. Its cheaper than buying the paper with the added bonus of not having to get rid of the paper once finished with it.

So will the SoS survive in this day and age? I don’t know. Its entering a srinking market, with the hope that a large amount of that market will switch their paper to them. Its a large ask given that this paper is coming out six months after the NotW shut up shop and their readership will have either moved to other papers or not be buying a paper any more.

For all the problems that there will be in starting up a new publication, one associated with the going s on at news international, I do wish them luck. Theres something nice about getting a newspaper. Not just because newpapers used to be used to wrap your fish and chips. But because there is something nice about opening a paper and getting the ink all over the place.

Its only a matter of time before that becomes a story we tell our kids and grandkids, but for the moment its something we can do every day if we so wish.