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Independent Article - Press Complaints Commission

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THe article is severely misleading to investors - how about a complaint to the PCC?


Anyone got a list of stats monthly + and - stats on house prices from the last 12 months that could be presented to illustrate how misleading the article is - rightmove, hometrack, Halifax, FT, ODPM, etc.

-Where's the breach of the code???

The Press Complaints Commission is charged with enforcing the following Code of Practice which was framed by the newspaper and periodical industry and was ratified by the PCC on 13 June 2005.


All members of the press have a duty to maintain the highest professional standards. This Code sets the benchmark for those ethical standards, protecting both the rights of the individual and the public's right to know. It is the cornerstone of the system of self-regulation to which the industry has made a binding commitment.

It is essential that an agreed code be honoured not only to the letter but in the full spirit. It should not be interpreted so narrowly as to compromise its commitment to respect the rights of the individual, nor so broadly that it constitutes an unnecessary interference with freedom of expression or prevents publication in the public interest.

It is the responsibility of editors and publishers to implement the Code and they should take care to ensure it is observed rigorously by all editorial staff and external contributors, including non-journalists, in printed and online versions of publications.

Editors should co-operate swiftly with the PCC in the resolution of complaints. Any publication judged to have breached the Code must print the adjudication in full and with due prominence, including headline reference to the PCC.

1 Accuracy

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, mis-leading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published.

iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.

2 Opportunity to reply

A fair opportunity for reply to inaccuracies must be given when reasonably called for.

3 *Privacy

i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications. Editors will be expected to justify intrusions into any individual's private life without consent.

ii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.

Note - Private places are public or private property where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

4 *Harassment

i) Journalists must not engage in intimidation, harassment or persistent pursuit.

ii) They must not persist in questioning, telephoning, pursuing or photographing individuals once asked to desist; nor remain on their property when asked to leave and must not follow them.

iii) Editors must ensure these principles are observed by those working for them and take care not to use non-compliant material from other sources.

5 Intrusion into grief or shock

In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings, such as inquests.

6 *Children

i) Young people should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.

ii) A child under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.

iii) Pupils must not be approached or photographed at school without the permission of the school authorities.

iv) Minors must not be paid for material involving children’s welfare, nor parents or guardians for material about their children or wards, unless it is clearly in the child's interest.

v) Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.

7 *Children in sex cases

1. The press must not, even if legally free to do so, identify children under 16 who are victims or witnesses in cases involving sex offences.

2. In any press report of a case involving a sexual offence against a child -

i) The child must not be identified.

ii) The adult may be identified.

iii) The word "incest" must not be used where a child victim might be identified.

iv) Care must be taken that nothing in the report implies the relationship between the accused and the child.

8 *Hospitals

i) Journalists must identify them-selves and obtain permission from a responsible executive before entering non-public areas of hospitals or similar institutions to pursue enquiries.

ii) The restrictions on intruding into privacy are particularly relevant to enquiries about individuals in hospitals or similar institutions.

9 *Reporting of Crime

(i) Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story.

(ii) Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children who witness, or are victims of, crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.

10 *Clandestine devices and subterfuge

i) The press must not seek to obtain or publish material acquired by using hidden cameras or clandestine listening devices; or by intercepting private or mobile telephone calls, messages or emails; or by the unauthorised removal of documents or photographs.

ii) Engaging in misrepresentation or subterfuge, can generally be justified only in the public interest and then only when the material cannot be obtained by other means.

11 Victims of sexual assault

The press must not identify victims of sexual assault or publish material likely to contribute to such identification unless there is adequate justification and they are legally free to do so.

12 Discrimination

i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

ii) Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.

13 Financial journalism

i) Even where the law does not prohibit it, journalists must not use for their own profit financial information they receive in advance of its general publication, nor should they pass such information to others.

ii) They must not write about shares or securities in whose performance they know that they or their close families have a significant financial interest without disclosing the interest to the editor or financial editor.

iii) They must not buy or sell, either directly or through nominees or agents, shares or securities about which they have written recently or about which they intend to write in the near future.

14 Confidential sources

Journalists have a moral obligation to protect confidential sources of information.

15 Witness payments in criminal trials

i) No payment or offer of payment to a witness - or any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a witness - should be made in any case once proceedings are active as defined by the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

This prohibition lasts until the suspect has been freed unconditionally by police without charge or bail or the proceedings are otherwise discontinued; or has entered a guilty plea to the court; or, in the event of a not guilty plea, the court has announced its verdict.

*ii) Where proceedings are not yet active but are likely and foreseeable, editors must not make or offer payment to any person who may reasonably be expected to be called as a wit-ness, unless the information concerned ought demonstrably to be published in the public interest and there is an over-riding need to make or promise payment for this to be done; and all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure no financial dealings influence the evidence those witnesses give. In no circumstances should such payment be conditional on the outcome of a trial.

*iii) Any payment or offer of payment made to a person later cited to give evidence in proceedings must be disclosed to the prosecution and defence. The witness must be advised of this requirement.

16 *Payment to criminals

i) Payment or offers of payment for stories, pictures or information, which seek to exploit a particular crime or to glorify or glamorise crime in general, must not be made directly or via agents to convicted or confessed criminals or to their associates – who may include family, friends and colleagues.

ii) Editors invoking the public interest to justify payment or offers would need to demonstrate that there was good reason to believe the public interest would be served. If, despite payment, no public interest emerged, then the material should not be published.

Edited by gruffydd

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Good Work!!!

I have already sent a complaint to the NEWSEDITOR.


me too...


Whilst I appreciate that your newspaper wishes to create a feel-good factor in this, the season of goodwill, I fail to see how 'House Prices on the rise again' can be viewed as anything other that awful news.

I can only assume that you are all home owners and maybe have property investments that you wish to see flourish - think for a moment before you publish such rash (and ill-founded) statements; will the many thousands of priced-out first time buyers thank you for such sentiments? I think not. You are guilty of propagating the myth that House Price increases are a good thing and benefit our economy. How do you suppose the next generation to become home owners? Your children?

Take a step back and look at what's really happening in the property market; don't resort to telling your readers what you think they 'want to hear.' It's lazy journalism and does nothing for your credibility.

I own 2 properties, by the way, and would welcome a price crash simply to enable my children to have a Happy Christmas in 2020...

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me too:

To the Editor, The Independent

I am writing in reference to your Front Page story of December 20th 2005. This article consists of a number of stories under the headline “Now for some good news”, including: “Afghan MPs sworn in; Gay weddings; House prices rising; Tsunami recovery; Fear of crime is falling; Chocolate is good for you; More trains are on time”.

Many of these good news stories are very laudable. Who could not welcome British trains running more promptly, or recovery subsequent to the Asian Tsunami, or further political progress in Afghanistan?

However, there is one story which will not seem such good news to much of the UK’s population.

I recognise that there are clear winners when house prices rise, and that many people who do not necessarily gain in real terms feel very good about paper wealth. However, these winners are not equitably distributed across the UK, nor across its demographic balance.

What about those hard working families that have maxed out their mortgage only to find that as property prices have risen, and the rungs of the “property ladder” have moved further apart, they are now unable to trade up to a bigger property in which to provide room for their children?

What about those who have worked and saved hard to pay for a one bedroom property but now wish to start a family? Many now find themselves unable to cope on a single income, let alone trade up to a two bedroom property. Are further price rises good news for them?

What about those First Time Buyers? They continue to be squeezed out of the market and find their lives on hold, stuck in a cycle of extended adolescence. When do they get to start their real lives?

Only those at the very top of the “property ladder” and in their most expensive property truly benefit. The rest of us will eventually suffer from increased mortgage payments. Furthermore, the REAL long-term cost of servicing this debt in a low-inflation world means that we will pay significantly more of our lifetime earnings than previous generations to provide a home for our families.

So is the news that “house prices [are] rising” good?

As a nation we have become obsessed with “easy money”. We no longer see the wood for the trees. It is time to take a step back.

I do not take issue with your observations regarding the market, although some would. Nor do I profess to know where the house market is going. After all, professional institutions and pundits have regularly got their predictions wrong. However, I do see that further increases in house prices above general inflation are a further distortion to the already unbalanced UK economy. We cannot forever keep our economy going by borrowing against asset price increases, no matter how good it feels in the short term. Crucially, it is important to note that this distortion is no longer purely economic, it is also increasingly socially damaging.

Surely stories covering the problems and imbalances associated with sky-high property prices would make interesting and readable news. Or is the entire population of the United Kingdom so obsessed with turning a quick profit at the expense of others that we have lost our empathy for our fellow man?

I turn to the independent to be not just independent, but to see through the prevailing paradigm in a thought provoking and challenging manner.

The UK is increasingly divided into the Smug and the Damned. For many “House Prices Rising” is anything but good news.


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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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