Complaint 02216-17 Odonnell v Lincolnshire Echo
Summary of complaint
1. Miss Odonnell complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Lincolnshire Echo breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Coffee shop in Lincoln closes for refurb”, published on 22 March 2017.
2. The article reported that a coffee shop in Lincoln was closed for refurbishment, and would be reopening at the start of Easter. The complainant said that the article contained inaccurate information about her and about comments she had made about the coffee shop.
Relevant Code Provisions
3. 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.
(v) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.
Clause 12 (Discrimination)
(i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's, race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.
(ii) Details of an individual's race, colour, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental illness or disability must be avoided unless genuinely relevant to the story.
4. The complaint was not resolved through correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
5. In order to resolve the complaint, the publication offered to remove the online article.
6. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to her satisfaction.
7. 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: 22/03/2017
Date complaint concluded by by IPSO: 16/05/2017
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