A Zelo Street regular has been in touch to register concern about the apparently over-zealous editing used by the Mirror to censor inconvenient views, even from its own star columnists, on the subject of press regulation. Parent company Trinity Mirror has signed up to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO), which, as any fule kno, is a reheated version of the disgraced PCC.
Don't mention this man at the Mirror
However, and here we have a significantly sized however, regular Sunday pundit John Prescott makes no secret of his support for the recommendations made in the Leveson report, most of which IPSO fails, as it (for instance) pretends to be independent when it is not. Prezza touched on the subject in his column yesterday, but it has been edited out of the online version.
So what did he say? Under the headline “Why justice is only open to the rich”, he told “There are many who want us to forget the past now the phone hacking trial has ended. But not the thousands of victims, whose privacy was violated in the chase for exclusives by Andy Coulson and his News of the World cronies”.
“Yes, several senior Murdoch journalists have been convicted. But ordinary people wronged by newspapers will still struggle to get compensation or an apology – unless they are able to hire a lawyer to force papers to pay up, risking vast legal costs and in some cases their homes”.
“For them the phone hacking trial changes nothing. Most people have not got the time or the money to ask for an apology or take newspapers to court. To deal with complaints in future, some newspaper owners have set up the Independent Press Standards Organisation”.
“It’s a new name for the discredited press poodle, the PCC, which accepted there was only ‘one rogue reporter’ at the News of the World – because that’s what it was told by the Murdoch press. But IPSO is not requiring members to offer low-cost legal arbitration to settle readers’ claims, one of Leveson’s main recommendations”.
“For papers, the rule for settling claims is the same rule as for who can stay at the Ritz: anyone can – if they can afford it”.
“In the next few weeks, an alternative arbitration service will be announced. It is being set up by an internationally-recognised legal body and some of the most passionate believers in freedom of speech. I hope all papers let readers use it. Then Leveson really would have achieved something. Coulson’s 18 month jail term is the start of change – not the end of it”.
Why the Mirror, which has slavishly signed up to IPSO, should censor a columnist who exposes that body as a sham continuation of the PCC, is not a mystery.