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Regional press complaints are resolved

Latest resolved complaints dealt with by the PCC. This story: 9.6.2003

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.

Listed here are summaries of complaints involving the regional press which fall into the first category.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph
Mr and Mrs Riley of Lancashire complained that the newspaper had incorrectly claimed that their son had died due to alcohol-related reasons.
An initial policy inquiry along these lines was not pursued and a toxicology report confirmed that there was no alcohol in his bloodstream. They also complained that they had been inaccurately quoted as saying that their son sometimes drank alcopops. (Clauses 1, 5)
Resolution: The newspaper, which had based its information on a police source and statement, published a clarifying article, sent a personal letter of apology to the complainants and undertook, in a report of the inquest, to clarify the situation and the family’s comments further.

Kentish Times
Mr A Sawford, of Dartford, complained that an article had inaccurately reported that he resigned from the council because of his views about the war on Iraq. He had actually resigned for personal reasons. (Clause 1)
Resolution: The newspaper published a letter from the complainant and a formal correction.

Sunderland Echo
A woman complained that the newspaper had published, in its ‘Search Party’ column, a request for information about her daughter from the girl’s estranged aunt. The column included the full name and age of her daughter and provided contact details for the aunt. (Clause 6)
Resolution: The newspaper apologised for the distress it had caused and reviewed its policy for the column. As a result of the complaint, the newspaper has undertaken not to publish any more appeals for children.

Tonbridge Courier
Mr Robert Bucknor of Tonbridge, resident trustee of Hadlow Tower, complained that an article had inaccurately reported a dispute concerning the tower and its trust Tower International Foundation (UK) Limited, mistakenly claiming that the trust was a charity and had been dissolved by the tower’s owner. He also objected to the fact that the article only included the perspective of the owner himself. (Clauses 1, 2)
Resolution: The newspaper published a letter from the complainant – in which he outlined his position, making clear that the trust could not be dissolved by one man – and a follow-up article in which the matter was further clarified.

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