At its most recent meeting, the Australian Press Council (APC) considered the best way of adapting its complaints-handling practices to respond to the emergence of global digital publishers.
Under this trial the Press Council will no longer accept complaints which appear on DMA’s website that have been written by journalists for DailyMail.com, a US-focused publication, and Mail Online, a UK-focused website, except when:
- The article relates to events within Australia, or,
- The article concerns an Australian national, or resident at the time of publication, who is ‘directly and personally affected’ by an alleged breach of the Council’s standards of practice.
Articles written by DMA’s Australian journalists will continue to be subject to the APC’s Standards of Practice.
The decision follows concerns raised by DMA that as a global digital publisher it was neither practical nor reasonable for the APC to apply its Standards of Practice to articles written by journalists that are not employed by it and over which it has no editorial control concerning events in either the US or UK.
“The approach we have taken ensures that DMA continues to be bound by the Australian Press Council’s standards while at the same time acknowledges that, as a global digital publisher, it has content on its website over which it has no editorial control,” said Neville Stevens, AO, Chair of the APC. “It is a practical solution to a complex issue that other Press Councils have sought to address,” Mr Stevens added.
The model being trialled recognises that DailyMail.com and Mail Online are not members of the APC, but that the DMA is. It aims to provide DMA – and any other future GDP member – clarity in terms of the complaints that the APC can handle. The APC will assess the results of the 12-month trial next year and consider whether any changes to the approach are required.
For more information, please contact Dorothy Kennedy, Media Advisor, Australian Press Council at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the APC on (02) 9261 1930.