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PCC has direct impact in raising Press standards

You published an entertaining interview with Chris Atkins, the director of Starsuckers, which sadly gets some things wrong about the Press Complaints Commission.

This is not surprising, as he appears never to have troubled himself with finding out the facts about us.

Mr Atkins refers to the editor of the Daily Mail being on the Editors' Code of Practice Committee (true), but then suggests that this means he would have involvement in the consideration by the PCC of Daily Mail complaints (entirely false).

The Code Committee is a completely separate body to the Press Complaints Commission: it writes the rules for the Press and the PCC independently enforces them.

He also says that no other industry in the world has this type of involvement in its own regulation

He is wrong. The very definition of self-regulation means that the industry contributes to, and co-operates with, the regulatory system.

For example, the code for the advertising industry is written by industry figures in the same way as is the code for the newspaper industry.

The PCC takes pride in serving the public and helping them obtain redress when they are wronged by newspapers and magazines. We are staffed by non-journalists and have a majority of public members to guarantee our independence. And we have had a direct and measurable impact in raising standards in the Press.

It would be a shame if your readers had the wrong impression of us due to Mr Atkins.

STEPHEN ABELL

Director, Press Complaints Commission

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