The media, who influance the publics attitudes towards issues such as the mental health stigma, have the ability to determind individuals perceptions and opinions on important matters due to the way they present the information. For example if the media were trying to create a barrier between those with mental illnesses and those without this could easily be done by only publishing negative stories reguarding the situation.
The Press Complaints Commission
The press complaints commission (PCC), which is a regulatory independent body for British magazines and newspapers, it the editors code of practise. It acts as a self regulation serive and deals soley with complains and the content of magazines and newspapers. The main aim of the PCC is to protects the rights of individuals of the general public, therefore if an individual were to be unhappy about the information being publicised the PCC would become involved in the situation. The PCC quote 'We proactively advertise our services and reach out to people who may be in need of our help. We aim to promote high standards by developing clear guidance and practical principles through our rulings, and offering training and advice to editors and journalists' (1) However, although they aim to protect the public they also have the need to give the press appropriate freedom with their publications.
The PCC, who enforce the Editors Code of Practise, consists of 17 members. 10 of which have no connection to the magazine or newspaper industry, the other 7 would be serving as editors. This would give a balance when discussing appropriate actions about cases because of the fact there would be two different judgements occuring rather than a biased one. The Code which, indicates the editors should be held accountable for what they are publisicing, consists of 16 criterias which they must comply with.
It is vital that the information being published is accurate, the editors must not publicise anything that may be misleading. This would mean that when publicising stories relating to mental health issues the data should be accurate, this would aid stereotypes from occuring as all the information would be correct. The public must also be given the fair opportunity to reply to stories and express any misjudgements that may have occured.
The PCC therefore control what actions occur when the Code has been breached, for example an editior could become censored or a settlement could occur reguarding a complaint. Standards are put in place in order to enforce the Code, thus meaning that if complaints occur then the standards would be set higher. Therefore, when editors are publicising stories reguarding mental health issues they must comply with the Code in order to minimise any misjudegements about mental health occuring also aiding a decrease in the current stigma. If the press are unable to comply then appropriate actions would take place as it is an essential aspect that the rights of the general public are...