EDITORS' CODE OF PRACTICE COMMITTEE | ABOUT US
The Code of Practice is a living document. It has to be flexible and responsive, changing with the times to reflect developments in circumstances, technology and public attitudes. It is the job of the Editors' Code of Practice Committee to keep it fresh, relevant and responsive.
In line with the recommendations of the Leveson Report in 2012, the committee is currently being restructured to include a greatly increased lay membership. In addition to the chairman and director of the new regulatory authority, there will be three independent lay members. They will join ten editors from the national, regional and magazine industry. The Code committee's current chairman is Paul Dacre, Editor of the Daily Mail and Editor-in-chief of Associated Newspapers.
The committee's role is to write, review and revise the Code, often considering suggestions for amendments from the public, or civil society, as well as from within the industry.
If you would like to suggest an amendment click here, or send it to:
The Editors' Committee was formed in 1990 to draft Britain's first universally-accepted Code of Practice for the Press, to coincide with the launch of the Press Complaints Commission, which would administer the new system of self-regulation and adjudicate on complaints.
Since then, the Code has evolved consistently, with major rewrites in 1997, following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and 2004, when - at the suggestion of the then PCC chairman Sir Christopher Meyer - an annual Code review was introduced. In all, there have been more than 30 substantive amendments (click here to view).
The Editors' Committee's philosophy throughout has been that the Code should be a simple, commonsense and non-legalistic document that maintains a proper balance between protecting the rights of the individual and the public's right to know, which can sometimes compete.
The guiding principle has been that the Code should be observed not only to the letter, but in the full spirit - not interpreted so narrowly as to compromise the commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly as to interfere with free speech or to impede publication in the public interest.
This "spirit of the Code" is a distinguishing feature that is possible in a voluntary self-regulatory system, but could not work in the legalistic framework of a statutory code.
The Editors' Committee produces The Editors' Codebook, an official handbook that brings together the Code and the case law developed through years of PCC adjudications upon it. This provides a unique bank of experience upon which editors, journalists and complainants can draw. The Codebook is now incorporated into this website (click here to view), where it can be regularly updated to reflect the most significant developments.
|The Code Committee members:
Paul Dacre, Daily Mail (Newspaper Publishers Association); Damian Bates, Aberdeen Press and Journal (Scottish Newspaper Society); Neil Benson, Trinity Mirror Regional Newspapers (Newspaper Society); Lisa Burrow, Closer magazine (Periodical Publishers Association); Geordie Greig, Mail on Sunday (NPA); Jonathan Grun, Press Association (NPA); Ian Murray, Southern Evening Echo (NS); Mike Sassi, Staffordshire Sentinel News and Media (NS); Hannah Walker, South London Press (NS); Harriet Wilson, Conde-Nast Publications (PPA); John Witherow, Sunday Times(NPA). Secretary: