A complaint by a health boss over articles in two regional newspapers has been resolved after they agreed to publish letters from him.
Dr Neil Goodwin, interim chief executive of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, contacted the Press Complaints Commission under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice about articles in the Carlisle-based News and Star and sister weekly the Cumberland News.
The articles, published in February, reported on the tendering process for a takeover of the Trust.
Dr Goodwin was concerned that readers would have been misled as to the merits of the losing bid, an alliance of Cumbria and Newcastle upon Tyne, and as to whether the organisation had subsequently been asked to remain in the process as reserves.
The newspapers did not accept they had breached the Code but the complaint was resolved when each paper published separate letters from Dr Goodwin stating that the alliance bid required £30m more support over the first five years and it had not been asked to remain as a reserve.
Other recent PCC cases involving regional newspapers include:
Tandon v Newcastle Evening Chronicle
Ms Aarti Tandon complained under clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.that the newspaper had published an article which inaccurately described her as the adopted daughter of another woman.
The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following correction:
“In a report in the Evening Chronicle on April 28, we wrongly described Aarti Tandon as the adopted daughter Jan Crook, of Jack Sprats cafe in Heaton, Newcastle. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the embarrassment and any distress caused.”
Michel v Jersey Evening Post
Mr Justin Michel complained under clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice that the newspaper had published an article reporting on his appeal against an application for a confiscation order which contained inaccuracies and was misleading.
The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following correction in the newspaper:
“An article published on 22 November, 2011, reported that the then Advocate Justin Michel had been sentenced by the Royal Court for perverting the course of justice and that he was fighting a £2.3m court confiscation order.
“We have been asked to make clear that Mr Michel was, in fact, sentenced for attempting to pervert the course of justice and was fighting an application for a confiscation order, no order having yet been made.
“The errors are regretted. Mr Michel has also stated that the value of assets transferred to him was a matter of public record.
Mackie v Westmorland Gazette
Mrs Jackie Mackie complained under clauses 1 (Accuracy) and 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Editors’ Code of Practice that an article, which reported her daughter’s death, had inaccurately stated that her daughter had been in a relationship with the man charged with her murder.
The complaint was resolved when the newspaper wrote privately to the complainant.