Are the PCC and NUJ doing enough to stop racist press?

Posted on 21/06/2010

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Given the amount of ongoing racism in the UK press, maybe it is time to remind the Press Complaints Commission and the National Union of Journalists, who ostensibly have strict rules against ‘prejudicial’ and ‘pejorative’ reporting, that they are not doing their job properly.

Clause 12 of the Press Complaints Commission’s Editors’ Code of Practice relates to discrimination and suggests that prejudicial or pejorative remarks about race and other personal traits and social groupings should be avoided.

i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

ii) Details of an individual’s race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

Similarly, Clause 10 of the National Union of Journalists’ Code of Conduct, by which all NUJ members are expected to abide, states that:

A journalist… produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person’s age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation.

In addition, the union’s Black Members Council has produced Guidelines on Race Reporting, which many (white) members have clearly breached over the years.

So are the journalists and editors, whom this blog was set to expose, abiding by these rules? Clearly not. And are the PCC and NUJ doing enough to stop them? Clearly not.

If you would like to remind them of that, perhaps with a few recent examples, here are their contact details:

Press Complaints Commission

Halton House
20/23 Holborn
London EC1N 2JD

Online complaint form: http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/form.html

E-mail: complaints@pcc.org.uk

The NUJ

Headland House
308-312 Gray’s Inn Road
London
WC1X 8DP

Email: info@nuj.org.uk

Ethics Council: ethics@nuj.org.uk

Equality Council: lenac@nuj.org.uk

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