Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Who guards the guardians?

Quis Custodiet (QC) is dedicated to the notion that all news media should be held accountable.
But some media organisations refuse to be regulated by any authority.
For those self-regulated, accountability-averse outfits and their victims, QC is the answer.

“The voice of opponents no less than of friends has a right to be heard.”

CP Scott, (May 5, 1921)

“A body of men holding themselves accountable to nobody ought not to be trusted by anybody.”

Thomas Paine, (1737–1809)

“The journalist shall do the utmost to rectify any errors or published information which is found to be inaccurate in a timely, explicit, complete and transparent manner.”

International Federation of Journalists, (Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists)

All complaints settled within five working days

We make sure your voice is heard

Every appeal is published to a global network

A simplified process means little or no cost

QC is holding unregulated media accountable

The Genesis of QC

The British journalist Michael Leidig has spent eight years fighting for the right to be heard over a false story made by unregulated media bodies about his award-winning, globally respected international agency.

When he took this to court, the one-sided stories and social media attacks continued, and with no-one to put his side of the story, he was denied his day in court when the judges refused to send it to trial.

In the past eight years he has been on a Kafkaesque journey through labyrinthine complaints procedures where these unregulated media like The Guardian and Buzzfeed insisted they had done nothing wrong.

This is the story about the creation of QC set up to tackle this one-sided system, causing irreparable polarisation in society. This is the story about a regulator that does not wait for the other side to come to the table, a guardian that will now hold the guardians to account.

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Woman with suitcase

Guarding the Guardians

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? – who guards the guardians?

The answer is journalists, because we are the only ones that can wield the same awesome power that they can. It is the power used every day by the media with such devastating effect – sadly all too often to attack those that do not share an opinion rather than those that deserve it.

There are regulators that govern the media, yet some of our most respected institutions refuse any form of regulation, and to challenge this is not easy. A guardian of the guardians will have no friends. It will not make you rich, nor will it be easy.

Why am I qualified to do this? I am an award-winning journalist whose work spans short-form and in-depth features, and exclusives. I have also worked in television and radio as a presenter and reporter and have written bestselling books. Everyday my teams distribute dozens of stories worldwide to some of the biggest names in the business, and have done so for decades. In short, I understand news, the people who make it, and those who publish it.

I am also the vice chairman of special projects at the British National Association of Press Agencies (NAPA), and I created QC to ensure no one has to go through the same ordeal as me, with a committee that answers only to itself and neglects to tell anyone what it decided until challenged. These unregulated players have had the game going all their way for so long.

Tackling this will not be easy, but that is part of being in the game, there is not one rule for those who make the rules and one rule for everyone else. Press scrutiny applies to everyone.

As the saying goes, a body accountable to nobody should not be trusted by anybody.

Is QC the Right Place for You?

If you are a victim of the media that is not regulated in any other way, then this is where you start your journey to be heard.

Before we consider your complaint against a publisher, you need to consider whether either Impress or IPSO already regulates it.

What is Media Regulation

You can find a list of publishers they control at here for Impress and here for IPSO.

If your complaint is about a broadcasting organisation, you need to try Ofcom, and if your complaint is about an advert, you will need ASA.

If your complaint is about copyright, you need to seek help from IPO.

Complaints about non-UK media will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as this service is primarily for UK media.

If you still want to pursue a challenge by using QC, we offer a straightforward, unbureaucratic, two-step process:

  1. An initial consultation where we will look at the facts and advise you on your options.
  2. We then offer arbitration and start the process of investigating whether the article is fair and accurate.
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Woman talking

How to File a Complaint

To start the confidential process, simply go to our Evaluation Request form, enter your name and contact details, the offending organisation’s name and a link to the article if it is online, then provide any useful documents or images, plus a short reason why you feel the article is unfair.

Then pay the GBP 25 review fee, and one of our media professionals will reply with your options. The small fee, which would buy you about six minutes of the average libel lawyer’s time, helps us to assess complaints more quickly.

If you feel that you have been unfairly treated by an unregulated media organisation in the UK, then use this form to quickly evaluate your case.

If, after an initial review, you still want to proceed with QC, our professional editors will look at the complaint and obtain the media organisation’s code of conduct to assess how that applies to the story that involved you.

You will then get the following:

  • A report about your case, including whether it was fair, balanced and accurate.
  • A review of the organisation complained about its own code of conduct.
  • All reviews will be carried out by respected independent news professionals.
  • Feedback will be taken from experts, influencers and the public.
  • The report will be published on our news wire and sent to a global news network.
  • The report will be sent as a press release to media watchers.
  • The report will be published on all relevant community news publications.

We charge a single fee of GBP 500 for the main report, which will ensure editors are commissioned and paid to do the work, and in some cases, we will provide a partial or complete refund, depending on the circumstances.

If, for example, the complainant has limited means or the investigation is over very quickly, then refunds or partial refunds can be made at the discretion of the QC editor.

Read the QC Code of Conduct here.

Request a Confidential Evaluation of your Case

Requires a GBP 25.00 Review Fee   * (This site is in Beta test mode and we are still in the process of establishing an online payment method. Until this service is operational, we will follow up your evaluation request with an invoice containing our payment methods.)

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