Resolution Statement 00644-17 Calder v Mirror.co.uk
Summary of complaint
1. Jennifer Calder complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Mirror.co.uk breached Clause 9 (Reporting of crime) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “’Provo Princess’ teacher banned from classroom after tweeting ‘grossly offensive’ messages glorifying the IRA”, published on 25 January 2017.
2. The article reported that a teacher, who it said had been convicted for posting “grossly offensive” messages on Twitter, had subsequently been “banned from the classroom”.
3. The complainant expressed concern that the newspaper had illustrated the story with an image of her posing with the teacher concerned. She said that the newspaper had taken no steps to protect her identity and she had no connection to the story.
4. The newspaper said that the image had been taken from an open Facebook profile where it was headed “Provo Princesses”. To resolve the complaint, it removed the image from the article and offered to pixelate it permanently in its image library.
Relevant Code provisions
5. Clause 9 (Reporting of crime)
i) Relatives or friends of persons convicted or accused of crime should not generally be identified without their consent, unless they are genuinely relevant to the story.
ii) Particular regard should be paid to the potentially vulnerable position of children who witness, or are victims of, crime. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.
6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
7. The newspaper offered to publish the following apology to the complainant on its news page:
To accompany our article of 25 January " 'Provo Princess' teacher banned from the classroom after tweeting "grossly offensive" messages about the IRA" concerning the striking off from the teacher's register of Anne-Marie Clements, we published a social media picture of Ms Clements, titled "Provo Princesses" alongside Jennifer Calder. We would like to make clear that Ms Calder has no connection whatsoever with the postings and we apologise to her for including her picture in the article.
8. The complainant accepted the newspaper’s offer as a resolution to her complaint.
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.
complaint received: 25/01/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 11/04/2017