The PCC: no regulation without representation!

Baroness Buscombe managed to jolt me awake with her stupidity on the Today programme on Monday. I really do advise you to listen to her interview while it is still available because it is remarkable for its vacuity, fatuosity and disingenuity. Apparently we are to believe that it is ‘joyful’ that the Sun can breach the PCC’s own guidelines and that the PCC will only lift a finger if Gordon Brown himself complains.

It gets worse, because it turns out that Buscombe wants the PCC to regulate bloggers (hat tip: Iain Dale):

“Some of the bloggers are now creating their own ecosystems which are quite sophisticated,” Baroness Buscombe told me. “Is the reader of those blogs assuming that it’s news, and is [the blogosphere] the new newspapers? It’s a very interesting area and quite challenging.”

She said that after a review of the governance structures of the PCC, she would want the organisation to “consider” whether it should seek to extend its remit to the blogosphere, a process that would involve discussion with the press industry, the public and bloggers (who would presumably have to volunteer to come beneath the PCC’s umbrella).

A terrible idea? Well, a totally impractical one for one thing. How on earth does she expect to be able to dictate what I can or can’t put on this blog?

But wait: a thought occurs. If bloggers are to be brought under the PCC, surely we should have seats on the PCC board? And, given the fact that our combined readership is somewhat larger than the newspapers’, shouldn’t we actually have a majority of seats on that board? It seems to me that having a majority of bloggers sitting on the PCC board would almost certainly result in a better system of self-regulation than we have at present.

Perhaps we shouldn’t dismiss the idea out of hand? Of course, the chances of the main newspaper proprietors agreeing to that must be somewhat lower than a snowball’s chances in Hell, but we can dream.


  1. It almost made me spit organic porridge over Lady Bonker’s empty breakfast chair, the very thought of the PM complaining to the PCC!

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