UPDATE: Guy Black, chairman of Press BoF has also replied to the MST’s questions. He confirmed:
“The PressBof press release made clear that Northern and Shell’s decision will have no impact whatever on the PCC’s 2011 budget. Its excellent standards of service to the public will therefore be maintained.
On the other issues you raise, relating to the question of contributions, the PressBof Board is currently studying the recommendations of the independent Governance Review.”
UPDATE: The PCC has responded to the Media Standards Trust’s questions about the implications of the withdrawl of Northern and Shell from the commission. The most important and significant point is that the PCC’s service will not be affected by the loss of income.
1. What impact will Northern & Shell’s withdrawal have on the PCC’s overall funding? Given that the amount contributed by national newspapers is kept secret it is currently not possible for those outside the industry to work out what effect the exit will have.
The budget for 2011 has been fixed, and Northern and Shell’s departure won’t affect that at all.
2. Will the PCC be able to maintain the same level of service on a lower budget?
The budget will not be lower.
3. In the PCC statement – and for the first time – you revealed some of the publications not covered by the PCC (i.e. Northern & Shell publications). Will the PCC now publish a list of all those that subscribe?
Details of subscribers are a matter for PressBof, and the Governance Review made recommendations in that area to PressBof.
4. Was Northern & Shell clear as to what motivated its withdrawal? And, if so, is it clear under what terms it might return to the system?
All we have been informed is that the decision was taken for monetary reasons. We hope that N and S will rejoin the system.
Thank you to the PCC for its swift and informative response.