Handling of complaints

INTRODUCTION

The main roles which the Australian Press Council may undertake when handling complaints include

  •  investigating and considering the complaint;
  •  seeking to facilitate an outcome acceptable to the complainant and the publication;
  • providing information and comment about the relevance of the Council's Standards of Practice to the particular circumstances;
  • making an adjudication, where appropriate, as to whether the publication has breached the Council’s Standards of Practice.
     

Adjudications must be published by the publication in accordance with the Council’s specific requirements.

The Council has no power to order compensation, fines or other financial sanctions. Where a complaint is upheld, the adjudication may also include a reprimand or censure, and may explicitly call for (but not require) apologies, retractions, corrections or other specified remedial action by the publisher. The Council may also call for specific measures to prevent recurrence of the type of breach in question.

The Council’s procedures for handling of complaints can be divided into the following three stages:

The great majority of the approximately 700 complaints received each year by the Press Council are finalised at Level 1. Many complaints result in a correction, apology or some other form of action being taken due to the involvement of Council staff. Click here to see some examples of the Council helping complainants obtain a remedy without adjudication.

 

 

 
 
 
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