Monday, 1 October 2012

New Ombudsman for The Sun

Call it the latest step towards circumventing Leveson, or a sincere attempt to improve standards, but either way The Sun has a new complaints ombudsman.

The role will be filled by Philippa Kennedy, formerly of The Express, The Sun and Press Gazette.

This follows the role of 'readers champion' introduced when The Sun began its Sunday edition.

Ms Kennedy says that she wants to "play a part in restoring people's faith in British journalism."

According to Press Gazette, she said: "Reporters strive for accuracy but things can go wrong. What's important is how they're put right".

Of course any step based on the genuine intent to improve standards should be welcomed. But the proof will of course be in the pudding - or presumably in this case a currant bun.

I was among those who were cautiously hopeful when Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Mail and Mail on Sunday, introduced a corrections column and a dedicated corrections email address this time last year.

As this blog has shown, both titles ultimately treated the column like so many New Year fitness regimes - with superficial enthusiasm soon waning to obsolescence.

It is natural that as the day of regulator reckoning nears that newspapers take steps to get their house in order, to strengthen their hand against Lord Justice Leveson's eventual recommendations.

Which is why it won't be these words on which Ms Kennedy is judged, but the ones that appear in future correction columns.

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