Decision of the Complaints Committee – 06399-21 Brace v
Summary of Complaint
1. Sai Brace complained to the Independent Press Standards
Organisation that thejc.com breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code
of Practice in an article headlined “EXCLUSIVE: Secret tape from inside
Palestine convoy revealed”, published on 17th June 2021.
2. The online article reported on a recent demonstration,
which described a Palestine convoy’s journey to London to join other
demonstrators. It stated that “[a]s was the case at other recent pro-Palestine
rallies, extreme anti-Israel sentiment was on display”. The article gave
examples of such displays of “anti-Israel sentiment” including “[a] homemade
poster [that] asked: ‘What is antisemitic in saying that all Jews support violence
3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate in
breach of Clause 1 as it had stated that a handmade poster at the demonstration
had read: “What is antisemitic in saying that all Jews support violence and
imperialism?”, whereas the original poster had said: “What is anti-semitic is
saying that all Jews support violence and imperialism!". To support his
position, he provided a photograph of the poster in question. The complainant
said it was significantly inaccurate to swap the “is” for “in” and the
exclamation mark for a question mark, as he considered this changed a factual
statement into an antisemitic question.
4. The publication accepted that it had, due to a hasty
misinterpretation, incorrectly quoted the statement that had appeared on the
poster and agreed that this rendered the article significantly inaccurate. The
publication said that upon receipt of the complaint to IPSO, it had amended the
article within 48 hours to state that “[a]nother homemade poster asked: “What
is antisemitic is saying that all Jews support violence and imperialism”, and
that it had also thanked the complainant for his vigilance in highlighting the
5. In addition to this, the newspaper published the
following footnote correction:
“In earlier version of this story a placard was described as
reading: “What is antisemitic in saying that all Jews support violence and imperialism?”
The word 'in' should have been 'is' and has now been corrected, with the
question mark also removed.
Relevant Code Provisions
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.
Findings of the Committee
6. The article had incorrectly quoted a poster at the
demonstration as reading: “What is antisemitic in saying that all Jews support
violence and imperialism?”; there was no dispute that the original poster had
actually read: “What is anti-semitic is saying that all Jews support violence
and imperialism!", and that photographs of the poster were publicly
available. Whilst the Committee noted that the publication said that this had
been due to human error, it took the view that the publication had failed to
take sufficient care not to publish inaccurate information and found that there
had been a breach of Clause 1(i). As the inaccuracy had distorted the meaning
of the poster and changed the statement to a question, it was the Committee’s
view that this was a significant inaccuracy, and therefore the newspaper was
obliged, in accordance with the terms of Clause 1(ii), to correct this promptly
and with due prominence.
7. The Committee turned to the question of whether the
action undertaken by the publication was sufficient to avoid a further breach
of Clause 1(ii). The newspaper had amended the online article and added a
footnote correction within 48 hours of being notified of the complaint to IPSO.
The Committee considered that the amendments made by the publication along with
the publication of the correction identified the inaccuracy and put the correct
position on record. It considered that the amendment and correction were
published promptly and were of due prominence. As such, Committee considered
that this was sufficient to meet the terms of Clause 1 (ii).
8. The complaint was partly upheld under Clause 1(i).
Remedial Action Required
9. The published correction put the correct position on
record and was offered promptly and with due prominence. No further action was
Date complaint received: 17/06/2021
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 15/12/2021