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IPSO rejects complaints against five regional titles

Five recent complaints against regional newspapers and publications have been adjudicated upon by the Independent Press Standards Organisation, with none of them being upheld.

Duncan Holling complained to IPSO that the Barnsley Chronicle had breached Clause 3 (Privacy) of the editor’s code over an article which reported his three-year-old son had “escaped” from nursery.

The story carried a photo of the child and its mother, from whom he is separated and said he had not given his consent for the photo or story to be published.

The Chronicle apologised for any upset caused to the complainant but did not accept a breach of code as the child’s mother had contacted the newspaper to speak about the incident, and agreed to the photograph.

The paper was satisfied that, as the primary carer for the child, the mother was in a position to offer this consent. Nonetheless, it had removed the story from its website as a gesture of goodwill.

IPSO did not uphold the complaint.  The full adjudication can be read here.

Other recent IPSO cases involving regional and local newspapers were as follows:

* Rachelle Romeo complained under Clauses 1 (Accuracy), 3 (Privacy), 12 (Discrimination) and 14 (Confidentiality) over a story in the Enfield Advertiser, after she had contacted the newspaper with her concerns about building work taking place to construct a Hindu temple in her area.

She claimed the article was inaccurate as it did not fully represent the concerns of herself or local residents; and that the inclusion of her full name, address and age in the article intruded into her privacy – in spite of her agreeing to have her photograph taken to accompany the article.

She also complained she had not been given copy approval and accused the paper of “bias” towards the temple, which the Advertiser had also sought comment from before publishing the piece.

The committee found no breach of the IPSO code had been committed. The full adjudication can be read here.

* Melanie Warsop complained under Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) about a report of her brother Kevin’s inquest carried in the Nottingham Post, in which he was described as a former associate of the “Nottingham crime lord” Colin Gunn.

The two men had previously been jailed while co-defendants in a past conspiracy trial.

Ms Warsop was concerned the report had referred to her brother in these terms, and that the article had reported the cause of his death before her family had been informed.

The committee found no breach of the code. The full adjudication can he read here.

* Mohammed Adris complained under Clause 3 (Privacy) about an article in the Lancashire Telegraph regarding Trading Standards investigation into the selling of “bogus” pilgrimage trips to Muslims.

It included a reference to the complainant’s 2003 conviction for “stealing £150,000 from 170 pilgrims for bogus trips”, which he claimed was unnecessary and distressing to his family.

However IPSO found the details of the conviction were matters of public record, and so could not reasonably be considered to be private

As such the complaint was not upheld. The full adjudication can be read here,

* Ravi Ram complained under Clause 12 (Discrimination) about a court story on, which reported him being acquitted of harassment without violence against an ex-girlfriend.

The article explained he had originally admitted the charge, but changed his plea before sentencing and was found to have no case to answer after new evidence was supplied.

The complainant said the article was misleading because, whilst it reported that he had previously pleaded guilty, it did not explain the reason why he was subsequently acquitted. He also accused the website of discrimination on the basis of his gender because of the nature of the coverage and the decision to leave out his former girlfriend’s name.

The committee did not uphold his complaint. The full adjudication can be read here.

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  • February 4, 2015 at 9:58 am

    Seems to be a lot of frivolous challenges to “freedom of press”: copy approval not given; previous conviction reported; gender bias because victim’s name not included.

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