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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

ARKELL V PRESSDRAM

Festive Telephone boxes could be heading for Bourges Boulevard once they have rusted down a bit more ...


There is a splendid volume called 'Letters of Note' and another edition is about to be published (err, just in time for Christmas...). 

Imagine our delight to see the famous Arkell v Pressdram legal response included. :

Arkell v. Pressdram
"Messrs Jeffrey Benson and Michael Isaacs of Tracing Services Ltd, currently on bail on charges of conspiracy to create a public mischief, appear to have lost most of the work collecting debts and tracing absconders for the Granada group, to the considerable regret of Mr James Arkell, Granada's retail credit manager. Ever since last June, when Tracing Services got the contract, Mr Arkell has been receiving £20 every month from Tracing Services, but the payment now appears to have stopped."

On April 9th of 1971, much to the dismay of one James Arkell, the brief story quoted above was published in Private Eye, a British satirical news publication founded in 1961 which, thanks to its unflinching commitment to uncovering scandals, is no stranger to legal disputes. Indeed, a few weeks after this particular piece hit the shelves, a letter arrived from Arkell's solicitors which can be read below, as can an uncompromising reply from Private Eye which has since become famous in legal and publishing circles for reasons which will become clear.

Never ones to miss an opportunity,
Private Eye published the exchange very quickly, and almost immediately Arkell withdrew his complaint. The magazine have since used the dispute as shorthand when responding to threats, e.g. "We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram."

Note: 'Pressdram Ltd' is 
Private Eye's publisher. Also, there was no "case" legally, despite the name by which the dispute is now known.

(
Letter taken from the More Letters of Note book. For more info and to read reviews of that book, go here.)
29th April 1971

Dear Sir,

We act for Mr Arkell who is Retail Credit Manager of Granada TV Rental Ltd. His attention has been drawn to an article appearing in the issue of Private Eye dated 9th April 1971 on page 4. The statements made about Mr Arkell are entirely untrue and clearly highly defamatory. We are therefore instructed to require from you immediately your proposals for dealing with the matter.

Mr Arkell's first concern is that there should be a full retraction at the earliest possible date in Private Eye and he will also want his costs paid. His attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of your reply.

Yours,

(Signed)

Goodman Derrick & Co.

------------------------------

Dear Sirs,

We acknowledge your letter of 29th April referring to Mr. J. Arkell.

We note that Mr Arkell's attitude to damages will be governed by the nature of our reply and would therefore be grateful if you would inform us what his attitude to damages would be, were he to learn that the nature of our reply is as follows: f*ck off.

Yours,

Private Eye


## There was of course, never a completed action, as it was all couched in future tense..so Arkell v Pressdram is not a case of record... but we enjoy it.


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So it could be some days before the copy (content) is seen by the Editor and properly formatted. We consider all representations and correct any facts that are clearly deficient.




OUR HUMAN RIGHT TO LAMPOON AND CRITICISE POLITICIANS

THE HIGH COURT has ruled....People have a right to lampoon and criticise politicians and public officials under the Human Rights Act, the High Court has ruled.

We have the full High Court judgment, saved as a page on here. l

ampoon (lampoon) Pronunciation: /lamˈpuːn/ verb [with object] publicly criticize (someone or something) by using ridicule, irony, or sarcasm: the actor was lampooned by the press noun a speech or text lampooning someone or something: the magazine fired at God, Royalty, and politicians, using cartoons and lampoons.

Derivatives: lampooner noun lampoonery noun lampoonist noun Origin: mid 17th century: from French lampon, said to be from lampons 'let us drink' (used as a refrain), from lamper 'gulp down', nasalized form of laper 'to lap (liquid).

NUJ CODE OF CONDUCT

NUJ Code of Conduct

The NUJ's Code of Conduct has set out the main principles of British and Irish journalism since 1936.

The code is part of the rules and all journalists joining the union must sign that they will strive to adhere to the it.


Members of the National Union of Journalists are expected to abide by the following professional principles:

A journalist:

1 At all times upholds and defends the principle of media freedom, the right of freedom of expression and the right of the public to be informed

2 Strives to ensure that information disseminated is honestly conveyed, accurate and fair

3 Does her/his utmost to correct harmful inaccuracies

4 Differentiates between fact and opinion

5 Obtains material by honest, straightforward and open means, with the exception of investigations that are both overwhelmingly in the public interest and which involve evidence that cannot be obtained by straightforward means

6 Does nothing to intrude into anybody's private life, grief or distress unless justified by overriding consideration of the public interest

7 Protects the identity of sources who supply information in confidence and material gathered in the course of her/his work

8 Resists threats or any other inducements to influence, distort or suppress information and takes no unfair personal advantage of information gained in the course of her/his duties before the information is public knowledge

9 Produces no material likely to lead to hatred or discrimination on the grounds of a person's age, gender, race, colour, creed, legal status, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation

10 Does not by way of statement, voice or appearance endorse by advertisement any commercial product or service save for the promotion of her/his own work or of the medium by which she/he is employed

11 A journalist shall normally seek the consent of an appropriate adult when interviewing or photographing a child for a story about her/his welfare

12 Avoids plagiarism The NUJ believes a journalist has the right to refuse an assignment or be identified as the author of editorial that would break the letter or spirit of the code.

The NUJ will fully support any journalist disciplined for asserting her/his right to act according to the code

The NUJ logo is always a link to the home page.

(As modified at Delegate Meeting 2011)