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Tenant loses IPSO complaint after daily covers housing woes

NewIPSOA tenant whose 12 years of housing problems were covered by a regional daily complained to the press watchdog because the newspaper said the issues had been going on for a decade.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation has rejected a complaint by Stephen Shaw, which came after Stoke-on-Trent daily The Sentinel ran a story under the headline ‘Residents demand action at flats “neglected” for 10 years’.

The Sentinel had reported that “residents in a block of flats have accused their landlords of ‘neglecting’ them – for a decade” and Mr Shaw was among the residents quoted.

However, he claimed it inaccurate to state the flats had been neglected for 10 years because issues had been ongoing since before he had first moved to the property 12 years earlier.

Complaining under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice, Mr Shaw also claimed some quotes had been misattributed to him.

The Sentinel supplied IPSO with notes taken by its reporter and said it was not inaccurate to say the problem had been ongoing for a decade, although it offered to publish a clarification regarding the attribution of the quotes.

IPSO found the inaccurately attributed quotes did not render the story inaccurate or misleading, where Mr Shaw accepted his views were not materially different from his neighbour’s.

It also found it was not significantly inaccurate to report the problems had been ongoing for a decade, where the point was problems had existed for too long and residents felt neglected.

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