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

Which is:

"... must have been authorised and approved by the media in accordance with appropriate internal procedures."

The idea of that was to encourage the media, before publishing a story, to have a procedure -- as indeed the broadcast media do, as you're probably aware -- for assessing whether it's in the public interest or not.

So somebody sits down and considers the issues of proportionality, the nature of the public interest and so on, in accordance with an established procedure, rather than an ex post facto justification, publishing the article without thinking about it, and then afterwards trying to say it's the public interest.

The idea here was to make it an element of the public interest defence that there be proper procedures in place.

We go on to say that this is intended to apply generally to all the media, not just to participants. But obviously, if the participant has followed the provisions of the code, then those will be appropriate internal procedures.

It's not intended to be exclusive, but there may be other ways of doing it. As, for example, one has with the broadcast media. It seemed to us to be an important feature which doesn't, at the moment, find its way into the PCC code.

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