By Ribnaa Hanaa
Many people who follow media coverage of Prince Harry and Duchess of Sussex are rightly concerned at their unfair treatment by Tabloid and internet articles. There are avenues available for making legitimate complaints about biased or unfair media coverage:
The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) is the regulator for the newspaper and magazine industry in the UK. https://www.ipso.co.uk/what-we-do/
IPSO: “We hold newspapers and magazines to account for their actions, protect individual rights, uphold high standards of journalism and help to maintain freedom of expression for the press.”
Apart from IPSO, there are other ways of making a complaint:
1. Request your MP or Local councillor to make a complaint who can raise it in the House of Commons. Media outlets don’t like this sort of complaint and may have more incentive to change
2. Write a report covering a period of time to point out errors or distortions. The report can then be sent other organisations e.g. another newspaper, radio, TV Channel, National Union of Journalists.
3. Organise a petition which can be sent to the newspaper, radio or TV station
These websites may be helpful:
1. The UK Press Gazette is the journalists’ trade paper. You can send a report to them about errors or distortions in the press. Website: https://www.pressgazette.co.uk/
2. The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom campaigns for accountable media. They campaign for the right of reply if people believe they’ve suffered from media distortion.
3. MediaWise Trust is an organisation that advises people about unfair or inaccurate media coverage. They can help with complaints or if the regulators have dealt with their complaint unfairly.
4. The Equality Advisory Service advises on race discrimination:
Apart from the above, LEGAL action can be taken for Defamation. It is possible to make a criminal or civil action for harassment.
From: Gov.UK – “In accordance with this aim, Section 5 of the Act creates a new defence to an action for defamation brought against the operator of a website hosting user-generated content.
To benefit from the defence the operator must comply with a process prescribed in Regulations on receipt of a notice of complaint about allegedly defamatory material that has been posted on the website.
These documents provide guidance for all those involved on how to use the Section 5 process and answer some frequently asked questions.”
DEFAMATION: PDF documents from Gov.uk
Complaints about defamatory material posted on websites: Guidance on Section 5 of the Defamation Act 2013 and Regulations
Guidance on Section 5 of the Defamation Act 2013 and Regulations:Frequently Asked Questions