Alison Hastings (PCC)

“If you don’t abide by the code, you will be sacked”, students at University College Falmouth were told today…

Alison Hastings told BA (Hons) Journalism students that when working for a media company you must follow the rules of the PCC (Press Complaints Comission) because the consequences of not doing so could result in you being out of the job.

“It will be written into your contract that you have to abide by these. The company that you work for will know the code and if you are in breach of it.”

Alison Hastings is a journalist who sat on the PCC for nearly 5 years, and now trains undergraduates and is also vice president for the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) as she explains, “things like The Human Centipede 2, has taken up a lot of my time, I have now had to watch that three times”

Hastings talks about the PCC “the PCC in a nutshell is regulation”, “not statutory control”. She then went on to talk about the complaints which the PCC recieve, some are ridiculous and some are serious, “the PCC gets around 6000 to 7000, complaints a year, of which only 2,500 are realistic.”

However “there are a fair few which do fall under the code”, as she goes on to explain. Sometimes when certain complaints fall victim to the code, they are let off if it is more of a public interest and something that the public needs to know.

There are 16 different clauses under the editors code which are:


-Opportunity to Reply



-Intrusion into Grief or Shock


-Children in Sex Cases


-Reporting of Crime

-Clandestine Devices and Subterfuge

-Victims of Sexual Assault


-Financial Journalism

-Confidential Sources

-Witness Payments in Criminal Trials

-Payment to Criminals

All journalists and media employed staff must stick to these rules and not breach them otherwise the consequences could be dire.

Hastings ends with saying who she thinks should enforce these rules upon the accused, “I think that’s a job for the police”. So in the end, the PCC can only go so far…

For more information on the PCC click on the link below


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