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Editors hit out at spate of IPSO complaints over Black Lives Matter coverage

Karl Holbrook 1Editors have hit out over a sudden spate of complaints to the press watchdog about their newspapers’ coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests.

Karl Holbrook, of the Bolton News, Samantha Harman, of the Oxford Mail, and Hayley Smith, of the Warrington Guardian, say they have had to deal with a series of complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organisation in recent days over the titles’ decision to cover the demonstrations.

Karl, pictured, revealed one of those to complain had claimed the News was “irresponsible and dangerous” simply for highlighting the fact that an event was taking place during lockdown.

Posting on Twitter, Karl confirmed that none of the complaints had been taken forward by the watchdog.

He wrote: “Dealing with my third IPSO complaint of the week because we ran a story to say there was a #BlackLivesMatterUK protest on our patch.

“This one complained that we were ‘irresponsible and dangerous’ for highlighting the fact there was an event. It beggars belief.”

Samantha added: I’ve had complaints like this too. Why don’t people understand we are a news service.  We tell them what is going on in their area.”

And Hayley replied: “This sounds remarkably similar to one we’ve had this week, wonder if it’s the same people behind it.”

Earlier this week HTFP reported on Hull Live’s revelation that it had banned more than 1,500 readers from its Facebook page over “hateful and outright racist” comments in response to its coverage of the protests.

A number of regional press editors have also spoken out against online comments made by some of their titles’ readers about the demonstrations.

HTFP has approached IPSO for a comment.