Resolution Statement 04300-19 A woman v lincolnshirelive.co.uk
Summary of complaint
1. A woman complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that lincolnshirelive.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Police investigating assault after teenage girl is attacked” published on 16 May 2019.
2. The article reported that police were investigating after being called to an incident where a teenage girl sustained minor injuries, allegedly after being assaulted by another teenage girl. Neither of the girls were named in the article.
3. The complainant was the aunt of one of the girls involved in the incident. She said that the article contained a number of inaccuracies: the police were not called to the incident, which was an altercation and not an “attack” or an “assault”. She also said that the article breached Clause 6, as although her niece was not identified, she had been very upset by the article and following its publication her school friends had asked her about the incident.
4. The publication did not accept that there was any breach of the Code. It said that the article was an accurate report of a police press release, which said that police were called to the incident following reports of a teenage girl being assaulted by another teenage girl.
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.
Clause 6 (Children)*
i) All pupils should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.
ii) They must not be approached or photographed at school without permission of the school authorities.
iii) Children under 16 must not be interviewed or photographed on issues involving their own or another child’s welfare unless a custodial parent or similarly responsible adult consents.
6. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
7. During IPSO’s investigation, as a gesture of goodwill, the publication offered to remove the article from its website, which the complainant confirmed resolved the complaint to her satisfaction.
8. 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: 20/05/2019
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 19/06/2019
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