The majority of complaints made to the Press Complaints Commission, which raise a possible breach of the Code of Practice, are resolved directly between the Commission’s staff, editors and complainants.
These are either settled to the express satisfaction of the complainant following some remedial action by the editor or are not pursued by complainants following an explanation or other response from the publication.
Below are summaries of the latest complaints involving the regional press which fall into the first category.
Norwich Evening News
Simon King, managing director of Ex-Press Plastics Ltd, complained that an article on air monitoring in relation to benzene levels in Loddon, which implicated the company, was inaccurate. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The complaint was resolved when the newspaper and the complainant agreed that any further references to benzene levels would be discussed with the company prior to publication.
Mr and Mrs G Mottashed complained that an article invaded their privacy when it published their name and full address. (Clause 3)
Resolution: The complaint was resolved when the newspaper wrote a private letter to the complainants which apologised if the article had caused upset. It also gave an assurance that the complainants’ names and address would not appear in any further articles.
Waltham Abbey Guardian
R A Ward of Waltham Abbey complained that an article reporting on traffic flow figures contained inaccuracies. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published a letter from a local Councillor which made clear that traffic flow figures were given for an eight day, rather than seven day, period.
South London Press
Nicole Braddick of Kent complained that an inquest report on the death of her brother contained unnecessary detail and intruded into her family’s grief. (Clause 5)
Resolution: The newspaper wrote a private letter to the complainant in which it outlined that it considered the matter to be a fair account of proceedings but recognised that the report had obviously caused great upset and apologised for this. The complainant wished for a public record of her complaint with the Commission to appear.
A Johnson, of Mablethorpe, complained that figures relating to the number of drug users in the locality were unsubstantiated and general coverage of the matter was biased so as to be misleading. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The editor firstly published a substantive clarification and apology for any potentially misleading impression that was created. He then published a letter from the complainant expressing concerns about the manner in which the matter was reported.
Worcester Evening News
D McGrawn, of Worcester, complained that an article about his compensation claim for unfair dismissal contained inaccuracies. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper offered to publish a correction and apology on the matter.
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