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New Editors' Code changes take effect

Three changes to the Editors' Code of Practice, to which the British press subscribes voluntarily and which is enforced by the Press Complaints Commission, come into operation today.

The amendments, which were announced last month, cover:

* Privacy - Clause 3 has been amended to make clear that the PCC will take into account relevant previous disclosures made by the complainant.

* Harassment - Clause 4 will require journalists in situations where harassment could become an issue to identify themselves if requested to do so.

* The Public Interest exceptions will include journalistic activity where editors can demonstrate a reasonable belief that they were acting in the public interest at the time.

The new look Code is now available online and can be printed out in a single-page format in A4 or A3.

The Society of Editors is also mailing 30,000 copies of the Code in a handy wallet-size format to journalists, politicians and civil society organisations. Bob Satchwell (pictured), the Society's Executive Director, said: "The Code should always be close to hand in every journalist's pocket - not the bottom drawer of their desks. That is the best way to show sceptics that the Code is a respected and powerful influence on the way the Press works."

Code Committee members: Paul Dacre, Daily Mail (chairman); Neil Benson, Trinity Mirror Regional Newspapers; Adrian Faber, Express and Star, Wolverhampton; Jonathan Grun, Press Association; Douglas Melloy, Rotherham and South Yorkshire Advertiser; Ian Murray, Southern Evening Echo; David Pollington, The Sunday Post; Alan Rusbridger, The Guardian: June Smith-Sheppard, Pick Me Up magazine; Hannah Walker, South London Press; Harriet Wilson, Conde-Nast Publications; and John Witherow, Sunday Times.