Richard Peppiatt was a reporter at the Daily Star for over two years. He also worked for six months at a news agency called Ferrari’s before his spell at the Daily Star, freelanced for the Mail on Sunday as a reporter for nearly five months, as well as for a variety of other tabloid titles.
When giving evidence to the Leveson Inquiry today and on his written evidence, Peppiatt expressed his views on the PCC, spoke of his experience as a tabloid reporter and apologised for not having left his position on the Daily Star earlier.
The main points of Peppiatt’s evidence are listed below. For a full transcript of his oral evidence, click here. For his full written evidence,click here.
On the Press Complaints Commission:
“The PCC Code was not something that I ever heard referenced in relation to how a story should be handled, although certain limitations such as not trespassing in hospitals were implicitly acknowledged. I have admitted that some stories I wrote at the Daily Star were wholly inaccurate, often written under pressure from superiors to distort the facts at hand. For me to have referenced the PCC Code to protest against this I would have been laughed out the door. That was the level of esteem the PCC held in the newsroom, both before and after Richard Desmond withdrew.
“Tabloid editors often talk of the “shame” they feel at a PCC adjudication, but – and I won’t pull any punches here – they’re lying. They couldn’t care less what the PCC thinks, or about having to occasionally print a three paragraph correction. The transaction between newspaper and reader has already occurred, and the effect of that story is rarely diminished by a retraction months later. Getting the occasional slap on the wrist was just a cost of doing business.”..read more