Resolution Statement 07239-19 Heneghan v coventrytelegraph.net
Summary of Complaint
1. Richard Heneghan complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that coventrytelegraph.net breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “These are the places you are banned from parking in Coventry - at night”, published on 11 January 2019.
2. The article reported on places you cannot park at night in the city centre of Coventry. It listed the times of several taxi ranks in Coventry city centre. This appeared in the online version of the publication.
3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 of the Editors’ Code. The complainant said that the times listed were not correct, with some of the taxi ranks no longer existing, and the times of operation starting several hours earlier than reported by the publication.
4. The publication said it had relied on a Coventry City Council’s website, and had accurately reported the times listed there. However, it accepted that the council website had inaccurately recorded the times of operation of the taxi ranks. After publication, the newspaper was contacted directly by the complainant, and on finding that the times of the taxi ranks were incorrect, it deleted the article.
Relevant Clause 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. The publication offered to print the following correction and apology online:
“On January 11 2019 we published an article regarding city centre evening parking.
The information for this article was taken from Coventry City Council's parking website - unfortunately this information was later shown to be incorrect, leading to the content and premise of the story being inaccurate and misleading.
Over the past nine months we have attempted to obtain the correct information from Coventry City Council, to no avail.
We apologise for the inaccurate article but stress that it was published in good faith. We look forward to being able to publish an accurate article once in receipt of the correct information from the city council.”
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: 14/09/2019
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 10/10/2019