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When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

IPSO Tele guilty of Clause 1 Accuracy Corbyn slur

The right-wing press haven't held back from a fierce bombardment of flak aimed at new Labour (not New Labour!) Jeremy Corbyn, seeking to sink his counter-hegemonic arguments before they can achieve any foothold. It must be said that the supposedly left-wing press has acted similarly, much to the outrage of their readers - the Guardian's readers ombudsman acknowledged as much.

So, it is perhaps heartening in the context if historically pitifully weak press self-regulation to see IPSO apparently make a rare stand on Clause One of the Editors' Code: Accuracy.

While our broadcast media are fiercely regulated through the statutory body of OfCom, with the government  free to dramatically undermine the BBC's much trumpeted independence through the purse strings (and successfully agitating for the BBC to do less and get smaller), press self-regulation has often verged on the farcical.

Let's not forget that the PCC abolished itself (albeit bowing to the inevitable and strategically acting to see off any government action) for failing in its job.

So, the IPSO ruling over the Telegraph's blatant smear job has to be welcomed ... but is it enough to declare IPSO a real break from past practices, a shiny success?

No.

Greenslade takes up the specific point on IPSO accepting without challenge the Telegraph's contention that a headline must be considered in context of the full article, a weasel logic indeed, as for many the headline will be all they read (or retain).

What about the wider point of our press' practice of filtering the news through an ideological prism to fit pre-ordained positions? Is it really a credible position that this one story stands alone as the sole example of our national press trampling over the most basic and fundamental clause in its fervour to bury Corbyn and the views he represents?

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