Stephen Gately and the Daily Mail: What the PCC says

Nikki Bayley ( @nikkib on Twitter ) was the person whose Tweet on the Daily Mail’s homophobic attack was first reTweeted by Derren Brown today. Nikki was also was one of the first people in the country to log a complaint with the PCC.

This is what the PCC said about columnist Jan Moir’s spiteful attack:

Dear Ms Bayley           Thank you for sending us your complaint about the Daily Mail article on the subject of the death of Stephen Gately.  We have received numerous complaints about this matter. I should first make clear that the Commission generally requires the involvement of directly affected parties before it can begin an investigation into an article.  On this occasion, it may be a matter for the family of Mr Gately to raise a complaint about how his death has been treated by the Daily Mail.  I can inform you that we have made ourselves available to the family and Mr Gately’s bandmates, in order that they can use our services if they wish. We require the direct involvement of affected parties because the PCC process can have a public outcome and it would be discourteous for the Commission to publish information relating to individuals without their knowledge or consent.  Indeed, doing so might unwittingly add to any intrusion.  Additionally, one of the PCC’s roles is dispute resolution, and we would need contact with the affected party in order to determine what would be an acceptable means of settling a complaint. On initial examination, it would appear that you are, therefore, a third party to the complaint, and we will not be able to pursue your concerns further.  However, if you feel that your complaint touches on claims that do not relate directly to Mr Gately or his family, please let us know, making clear how they raise a breach of the Code of Practice.  If you feel that the Commission should waive its third party rules, please make clear why you believe this.

Yours sincerely

Simon Yip


3 responses to “Stephen Gately and the Daily Mail: What the PCC says

  1. Really good piece! I’m coming to Brighton in a couple of weeks on business, and I know where to have lunch!

  2. The initial email response from the PCC must have put off so many people as I am sure was its intention. It is actually not true at all to say that only directly affected parties can complain and I find it disingenuous in the extreme to suggest this in the way this mail did. This really only refers, in this case, to intrusion into grief. Anyone can complain about the inaccuracy in the article.

    I replied in email at first, then realised that this was not likely to be dealt with properly and complained again, this time as an affected third party and NOT to the special link for Jan Moir complaints, which is probably a dev/null location 😉 but via the normal channel.

    I didn’t receive a response from them again, either to my renewed complaint or to my email, which I find a trifle worrying now I think of it.

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