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    Thursday, 27 September 2007

    Trelford on the PCC and the D-A Notice

    In an interesting recent rumination, Donald Trelford - erstwhile editor of the Observer and currently columnist for the Independent - listed a number of "praiseworthy developments" at the PCC but highlighted its continuing susceptibility to calls for its demise. His prescription: embrace change don't fight it.

    Another interesting point made by Trelford in recent weeks concerns the D-notice system. Quoting from a piece in the Independent: "Many people, even on newspapers, are surprised that the D-notice system still exists, having assumed that it died with the collapse of Communism. Yet the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee, consisting of editors and civil servants, functions much as it ever did. Now a history of the D-notice system, right back to its origins in 1912, is being written by its former Secretary, Admiral Nick Wilkinson. A prevalent myth about the system is that governments can "slap a D-notice" (now called a or D-A Notice) on a story and thereby censor it... In reality it's an advisory system, which editors can choose to ignore. I had to put some Americans straight on that one recently, when they consulted me about a feature film they were planning... I doubt if my words of warning will stop them. "

    2 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    The PCC should think itself lucky not to be suffering the same sort of barrage as its Australian counterpart as chronicled by Greenslade today.

    Anonymous said...

    Sir Christopher Meyer gave a speech last week (and another at the beginning of the month)during which he reflected as some length on the threats and opportunities facing the PCC in the digital age.

    This too was commented on it Greenslade's blog.

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