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Richard Desmond and Paul Dacre don’t agree on the PCC – so call in Ofcom

The Press Complaints Commission need not be the only forum for newspaper regulation

The editor of the Daily Mail wants a universal press card available to those who work for responsible, regulated papers. That’s his way of getting the proprietor of the Expresses and Stars to come in out of the cold. Richard Desmond, though, tells all who seek to solve this problem that he only left the PCC in the first place because he couldn’t abide the way Paul Dacre and mates ran it (and ran him down).

It does not seem likely, then, that Dacre’s diplomatic way forward is primed for success. But is it even necessary? Desmond is signalling he is content with the new model PCC emerging from the mists. He also says he wouldn’t mind being regulated by Ofcom if push came to shove. Which surely brings back the big tent notion first aired here last autumn. There’s a revised code, owned by the PCC or successor, but also stored in an Ofcom cupboard.

If a proprietor or editor whose name begins with D doesn’t like the PCC he can opt to be regulated by Ofcom. If the PCC doesn’t want to regulate an outfit that flouts its rules, it can also use Ofcom as sin bin.

Flexible, fast, co-operative, cheap. There must be a snag to it somewhere. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds