Resolutiom Statement: Complaint 00568-16 Jones v Express.co.uk
Summary of Complaint
1. Peter Jones complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Express.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Now European Union bureaucrats could make Britons put out SEVEN bins every week”, published online on 29 January 2016.
2. The article reported that “the latest report from the European Commission calls for separate bins for different waste”, and that “meddling Brussels officials could now demand Brits have bins for paper, glass, metal as well as food”.
3. The complainant said that the article misrepresented a study commissioned by the European Commission into the effectiveness of different recycling systems. He said that the article reported the academic study as if it were a legislative proposal. In fact, it was highly unlikely that the study would result in legislation. The complainant said that even if the EU mandated increased sorting of recycling, the most likely way this would be achieved is by roadside operatives using a stillage vehicle, rather than by requiring householders to use a greater number of bins.
4. The newspaper said that the article made clear it was reporting what could happen, and what could be demanded. It did not suggest that the findings of the study had any legislative weight at all. The newspaper denied that the article was inaccurate.
Relevant Code Provisions
5. Clause 1 (Accuracy)
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information or images, including headlines not supported by the text.
ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and — where appropriate — an apology published. In cases involving IPSO, due prominence should be as required by the regulator.
iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.
iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.
6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
7. After further correspondence, the newspaper confirmed it had removed the article from its website.
8. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to his satisfaction.
9. 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.
Date complaint received: 04/02/2016
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 24/04/2016Back to ruling listing