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Weekly apologises after publishing letter writer’s name and address

NewIPSOA weekly newspaper has apologised after publishing a reader’s letter with the writer’s name and address despite a request that it should be withheld.

The writer complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation after the Leamington Spa Courier published the letter headlined ‘LAMP provides a lifeline to families across the district.”

In it, the complainant argued that provision of specialist education in her area for children with additional needs should be continued, adding that her child has additional needs and naming the school he attended.

At the end of the letter, the complainant’s full name and partial address were published – information which she said she had specifically asked to be withheld.

The woman said the newspaper had breached  Clause 2 (Privacy), because it included her name and address and Clause 6 (Children) because identifying her child, his school, and his learning difficulties represented an intrusion on her child’s time at school, and could cause safeguarding issues.

According to an IPSO resolution statement published yesterday, when the newspaper was initially contacted by the complainant, it questioned whether she had made her request for anonymity sufficiently clear.

However, later in correspondence, the publication acknowledged that it had made a serious mistake in publishing the complainant’s details, and accepted that it was responsible for the error.

IPSO began an investigation into the complaint, but did not make a ruling as it was resolved in the course of the process.

Said the IPSO statement: “During IPSO’s investigation, the publication offered a private letter of apology to the complainant, which accepted full responsibility for the mistake, and assured the complainant that action had been taken within the publication to avoid a repeat of the situation.

“The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to her satisfaction.

“As the complaint was successfully mediated, the Complaints Committee did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.”

The full statement can be read here.