AddThis SmartLayers

Son left ‘distressed’ by newspaper’s clarification after mum’s IPSO complaint

ipso-green-320A woman who complained to the press watchdog over a report of her son’s arrest said he was left further distressed by a subsequent clarification published by the newspaper in question.

Patricia Rooney claimed Dundee daily The Evening Telegraph had intruded into her son’s private life after reporting he had been charged with sending written sexual communication to a child via Facebook.

The Evening Telegraph also reported the man had been charged with making arrangements for the child to travel and meet with him, with the intention of engaging in unlawful sexual activity, and that a legal debate would be taking place at a later date.

The story was published in February this year but Ms Rooney emailed the paper in April to say the charges had been dropped and request that it publish an update on the case.

But, after the ET agreed to run a second story, she said it had caused her son further distress because it included a comment made by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, stating that the Crown reserved the right to proceed with the case should further evidence become available.

Complaining to the Independent Press Standards Organisation under Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Ms Rooney said she had not initially received a response from the paper to her email enquiry.

The ET apologised for its lack of contact with the complainant, and explained that her email was overlooked in error and that it did not intend to ignore her request.

It said that due to a misunderstanding within the editorial team the update was not published but nonetheless, shortly after it had been made aware of the complaint by IPSO, it contacted the complainant and arranged for the publication of the follow-up article in line with its obligations under the Code.

IPSO found that the ET had been entitled to report on the court proceedings and had taken active steps in response to the complainant’s concerns to promptly published an updated article.

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