Memorandum submitted by the Daily Mail

 

It is typical of the half truths in Mr Davies' book that he conflates PCC adjudications with the figures for complaints and to pretend the numbers are some sort of indication of accuracy. It is not that simple.

 

In the last 5 years, according to the PCC itself, the Daily Mail newspaper has not had to print an adverse adjudication from the Press Complaints Commission.

 

While it is true that the Daily Mail gets a robust number of complaints it is not always true that it gets more than others. In 2008 there were over 700 complaints about the Times, compared to around 520 about the Daily Mail.

 

It is important to realize that the quality and quantity of complaints varies from the trivial to the serious, from a single protest about one story to multiple complaints about one article.

 

In our case:

 

Some of them end up with the complainant deciding not to pursue the complaint.

Some end up with a pleasant exchange of explanatory letters between the complainant and the paper's Managing Editors acting for the Editor.

Some end up with a published letter.

A few end up with a clarification or an apology in the newspaper.

 

The vast majority are resolved to the satisfaction of the complainant.

 

It is pointless, in any event, to have "league tables" of numbers of complaints. They are no indicators of lack of quality or careless journalism.

 

There are several reasons for the number of complaints we do get:

 

1. The Daily Mail has a huge circulation and is read by more people than any other paper except the Sun.

 

2. The Mail has the most discerning and intelligent newspaper audience who take what we print seriously - but often do not put the same weight on things published in the red-tops.

 

3. People who do not read the Mail nevertheless take careful note of what we publish.

 

4. We have a vigorous and robust style which naturally brings debate and dissension to the fore.

 

5. We publish more pages and more stories than any of the popular, widely read newspapers.

 

6. We publish regular free advertisements in our paper and on the website advertising the PCC's services and inviting our readers to use them if they think we have gone wrong.

 

As the committee heard, we publish the equivalent of half of War and Peace every day and yes there will be errors on occasion. Where mistakes are discovered we also strive to put them right at the earliest opportunity.

 

I trust you will find the above helpful.

 

April 2009