After an industry-wide consultation, the Press Standards Board of Finance Ltd (PressBoF) has announced it will extend the remit of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) to include online-only publications. This will mainly apply to online magazines, it said in its release.
Pressbof, independent of the PCC, is responsible for raising a levy on the newspaper and magazine industry to finance the Commission.
The extension has been agreed on these terms:
1. Such publications must be recognisable as UK based newspapers or magazines which, if in printed form, would come within the jurisdiction of the PCC.
2. The publisher and editor must subscribe to the Editors’ Code of Practice.
3. The publisher must agree to pay registration fees to PressBoF.
“The internet is an increasingly important platform for publishers to reach consumers. While online versions of newspapers and magazines available in printed form come within the remit of the PCC, there is a gap to the extent that online-only publications do not,” said Guy Black, chairman of PressBoF.
“This decision is a logical development in self-regulation, recognising the moves in the magazine sector towards online-only titles, and underlines the effectiveness of our system.”
Baroness Buscombe, chairman of the PCC, said she welcomed the decision by the industry:
“The PCC needs this freedom to develop rapidly to meet the challenges and the opportunities presented by media convergence. One clear strength of the self-regulatory system is its flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances, while still providing a service that is free, fast, discreet and which involves the public in its decision-making.”