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.
C Black complained that a picture of her with her son was published without her permission along with an article relating her experience of encountering an intruder in her home. (Clause 3)
Resolution: The newspaper agreed to delete the image from their files so that it could not be used again in the future.
Southern Daily Echo
J Evans complained that comments in an article about a driver’s fine for careless driving contained inaccuracies and were misleading. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper provided the complainant with an opportunity to reply to the article in the form of a published letter.
Stroud News and Journal
M Sheppard complained that an article inaccurately reported his age and wrongly stated that his trial date was put back for a second time. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The complainant accepted the editor’s offer to publish a correction and apology on these points.
D Watson complained that the paper’s fact file listed Catherine Watson as the Elder of the Kirk of the Holy Rood. This was not the case as she had died in December 2002. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The editor extended his apologies to the complainant and amended the publication’s records for future reference.
S Chorely (representing Lynda Iddon), complained that an article had unnecessarily focused on Mrs Iddon – charged over the death of her husband – and had included a picture of her at her husband’s funeral that invaded her privacy. (Clauses 1, 3)
Resolution: The newspaper agreed to ensure that the outcome of the trial was reported with due prominence and that the progress and outcome of any further subsequent appeal was also reported.
Press & Journal
Maretta Regan, Director of Communications for NHS 24, complained that an article contained inaccurate allegations about the service provided by NHS 24. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The complaint was resolved when the newspaper gave an undertaking to report the outcome of any investigation into the service and to arrange a meeting with the complainant.
Cumberland News & Star
Frank Hont, regional secretary of UNISON North West, complained that the newspaper had copies of confidential UNISON documents which he wished to have returned. The complainant was also concerned that an article written on the basis of this information invaded a member of the trade union and his family’s privacy and that the newspaper had not responded to his direct letter of complaint. (Clauses 3, 10)
Resolution: The complaint was resolved when the newspaper made it clear that – whilst it had had sight of the document in question – it did not physically possess any documentation belonging to UNISON. The newspaper argued that the piece did not invade any aforementioned person’s privacy and outlined that it had replied to the complainants original concerns directly.