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Man complains to press watchdog after mistaking reporter for council worker

NewIPSOA man who mistook a reporter for a local council worker went to the press watchdog after his comments to her were published.

Abi Osinyemi contacted complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation over a quote attributed to him which was published by Newsquest weekly the Croydon Guardian, its sister websites This Is Local London and Your Local Guardian, and Reach plc site My London.

The stories related to an area that had been found in a recent study to be one of the most deprived in London, and Mr Osinyemi was among a number people who lived and worked there who were quoted about their experiences.

But, complaining under Clause 10 (Clandestine devices and subterfuge) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, he said he had no reason to believe the woman who approached him was a reporter, and spoke to her solely on the basis that he believed she worked for the council.

Mr Osinyemi said that he would not have spoken to the reporter had he known she was a reporter, and would not have consented for his conversation to be recorded or published if this was the case.

He added he had got in touch directly with the reporter after realising it had been published and asked for his quotes to be removed.

In response, the Guardian said that it had received the story from a reliable syndicate and had removed Mr Osinyemi’s name, but left the quotes in the online article, after the reporter got in touch.

My London did not accept that it had breached Clause 10 and the reporter provided notes of the quotes taken during the conversation.

After IPSO began its investigation, all publications offered to delete the full quote that had been supplied by Mr Osinyemi.

This resolved the matter to his satisfaction, and IPSO therefore did not make a determination as to whether there had been any breach of the Code.

The full resolution statements can be read here.