The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Initially quite a substantial number of my decisions would have been appealed, either by newspapers or by complainants, on the grounds that, well, it was free and, you know, why not have a second bite at the cherry?

But over the years the number of my decisions -- the number of appeals against my decisions that have been allowed by the Press Council has been very low. I think last year there was only one of a fairly large number of decisions, and I think, perhaps related to that, the volume of appeals has diminished slightly. But it does remain an open door for anybody who feels that they are entitled to it.

Indeed, some of my decisions, it's fair to say, when you're applying a very broad principle to a very specific set of circumstances, some of the decisions are close to -- as close to 50/50 as you can find, and it would be quite legitimate for the Council to make -- to -- I can give you an example, if you would be interested.

A number of years ago the family of a young man who was shot in Bolivia, in the course of a police raid on a hotel where they suspected that an assassination squad was lurking, a photograph of this young man's body riddled with bullet holes was published in one of our newspapers. The family complained under principle 5, which said -- effectively they argued that it caused them undue pain and distress, and it was not necessary and so on.

I upheld the complaint, but the appeal by the newspaper concerned was allowed by the Press Council on the grounds that the political context and overall significance of these events made the photograph relevant, and that justified publication.

Keyboard shortcuts

j previous speech k next speech