Traces the development of the Press Complaints Commission in its first decade. Stories dealt with by the PCC - including Princess Diana's relationship with the press and her tragic death - are explored, along with such issues as how to balance public interest with an individual's right to privacy.
When the Press Complaints Commission was set up in 1991, British journalism was at an all-time low. In a democracy the media must be free but competition between tabloids had produced a press notorious for intrusiveness, tastelessness, inaccuracy, callous methods and chequebook journalism. The only curb was the old Press Council, funded by the industry itself and widely seen as a watchdog with false teeth. Some more forceful body was clearly needed; the question was whether it could succeed, or whether the Government's threat of statutory regulation would be carried out.;This book traces the development of the PCC in its first decade. It is also a telling picture of British life and public opinion during the 1990s. Princess Diana's complicated relationship with the press and her tragic death; the Barings scandal, the Camillagate tapes, cash for questions, and the unmasking of Jonathan Aitken are only a few of the stories the PCC has had to deal with. The book reveals the struggles that divided both the PCC and the industry itself, as well as exploring the serious questions, such as how to balance public interest with an individual's right to privacy.I do believe the popular press is drinking in the Last Chance Saloon, said David Mellor in 1989. A decade on, thanks to the influence of the PCC, it seems that the press is out of the saloon and self-regulation is a reality.
Richard Shannon is Professor Emeritus of Modern History at the University of Wales, Swansea, and is the author of a widely acclaimed life of W.E. Gladstone. He lives in London.
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgements; Prologue: The Idea of a Self-Regulated Press in Britain; Introduction: The Long Road to the Last Chance Saloon, 1953-1989; 1. From Press Council to Press Complaints Commission, 1990; 2. 'The most curious quango known to political man': first phase of probation, 1991; 3. 'Getting perilously close to drinking-up time': last phase of probation, January-June 1992; 4. 'Damned for acting quickly and damned if we did not': McGregor impaled on the royals, June-July 1992; 5. Stay of Execution, July 1992-January 1993; 6. Calcutt strikes again - and misses: January-November 1993; 7. 'MGN has thrown a hand-grenade at us.' The Princess Diana gym-photos affair, November-December 1993; 8. Exit McGregor, enter Wakeham, 1994; 9. 'We are not out of the woods quite yet.' Wakeham takes over, January-July 1995; 10. 'I think we have turned the corner with the PCC.' July-December 1995; 11. Self-regulation 'delivering the goods'? A deceptively auspicious interlude, January-August 1996; 12. A 'failed strategy'? Paparazzi, privacy and the public interest, August 1996-January 1997; 13. New Labour, new questions, January-August 1997; 14. Death of a princess: the great Diana stampede, September-November 1997; 15. Battling the wigocracy: the Commission and the Human Rights Bill, November 1997-June 1998; 16. Imbibing the intoxicating liquor of survival, 1998-1999; 17. Self-regulation into the twenty-first century, 2000-2001; Appendix; Index
A Press Free and Responsible by Richard Shannon
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The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine.