Purely for interest, here is the standard response I received rom the PCC regarding my complaint about the Daily Mail’s HPV scare story.
Dear Mr Hawcock
Thank you for your email
Your complaint will now be assessed as to whether it requires investigation under the Code. If this appears to be the case we will ask the editor to deal with your complaint. A copy of the Code of Practice which all newspapers and magazines who subscribe adhere to, can be accessed using this web link: http://www.pcc.org.uk/cop/practice.html
Our aim is to resolve all complaints that raise a possible breach of the Code amicably and quickly. It might be useful if I therefore set out a number of points about our procedures.
– As part of a full and fair investigation we must ensure that each party to a complaint is able to see and comment upon what the other has to say.
– The Commission has a commitment to deal with all complaints as speedily as possible. It expects both complainants and newspapers – and their representatives, legal or otherwise – to cooperate with that commitment. Any unreasonable delay on either side may be taken into account by the Commission.
– We will usually send a copy of each letter of complaint to the editor even if the complaint does not raise a breach of the Code. It is important that editors are aware of criticisms of their publications. Similarly, any substantive decision made by the Commission under the terms of the Code will be sent to the editor.
– The Commission is not able to deal with all complaints. Some of the circumstances in which we may not be able to pursue a complaint are set out on our website.
– It is possible that the Commission may find that your complaint does not amount to a breach of the Code. If this is the case we will explain to you why the Commission took this decision.
– If, at the end of the process, you are dissatisfied with the manner in which your complaint has been handled, you should write within one month to the independent Charter Commissioner who will investigate the matter and report any findings and recommendations to the Commission. Further details are included on our website.
Further information about the complaints process can be accessed using this web link: http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/process.html
Information about our service commitments to complainants can be accessed using this web link: http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaint/charter.html.
Further information about the PCC can be found on our website www.pcc.org.uk .
Do not hesitate to contact us if you need further advice. When you write to us, please quote our reference number on this email.