Wednesday 21 March 2018

Two-thirds of press complaints struck out last year

Ailish O'Hora Public Affairs Correspondent

More than two-thirds of complaints by the public to the Press Council last year were ineligible for investigation.

The council received 315 complaints, 91 of which were processed.

The majority of claims related to truth and accuracy, while others addressed privacy, fairness and honesty, according to the council's annual report.

The majority of complaints were struck out because the complainants did not follow up on initial calls to the council while others were received from unauthorised third parties.

More than two-thirds of complaints were against national newspapers while less than 10pc related to regional titles.

The figures are similar to previous years and press ombudsman John Horgan said the consistency showed that the public were ready for the structures put in place by the council when it was founded in 2007.

"Put simply, people . . . have learned to use them with a natural sense of entitlement and with confidence," he said yesterday.


Commenting on the newspaper industry, chairman of the council, Daithi O Ceallaigh, said while it was commonplace to assume the advent of the internet had made traditional media irrelevant this couldn't be further from the truth.

He added a recent survey in the US showed that the news outlets most often cited for original reporting on American blogs were three of the country's major newspapers.

"These newspapers must be doing something right -- and perhaps repetition, as well as imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery."

He added that while the traditional media now has an independent regulatory system, this is wholly absent from the internet but this will have to change.

"In time, perhaps, web-based journalism may come to see the value of quality control."

Irish Independent

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