The PCC deals with complaints raised by readers about editorial content of UK newspapers and magazine, both in their print and online editions. Complaints are investigated under the Editors' Code of Practice and when a breach of Code is found, PCC main aim is to find a negotiation for a satisfactory complaint's resolution.
The PCC states that "if the Commission concludes that the Code has been breached (and the breach has not - or cannot - be remedied) it will uphold your complaint in a public ruling. The newspaper or magazine is obliged to publish the critical ruling in full and with due prominence".
While defined are the rules for the due prominence publication in print - over 80% of texts negotiated through the PCC appear on the same page as, or on an earlier page, than the original article, or in a designated corrections column - online publication has still not been clear. The new guidance goes in this direction of clarification.
As readers access the content via different means, such as searches and links, there should be a direct correlation between the original location of an article and the placement of the correction or apology. The PCC underlined that corrections and apologies should be searchable as the other articles and that "care must be taken that the URL of an article does not contain information that has been the subject of successful complaint. If an article is amended, then steps should be taken to amend the URL, as necessary".
Articles that are found to be subjected by an upheld complaint should either be removed from the archive or replaced by the PCC adjudication, or left in place with a prominent link to the upheld adjudication; if the article has been removed the details about how long the correction should remain online should be negotiated with the PCC.
Beside the self-regulation system, the legal one is also trying to be update with the fast-moving Internet scenario. The UK government is studying a libel reform bill that would take into account the challenges the online digital age is posing.