Resolution statement Complaint 13441-16 Giblin-Jowett v Express.co.uk

Decision: Resolved - IPSO mediation

Complaint 13441-16 Giblin-Jowett v Express.co.uk

Summary of complaint 

1. Hellen Giblin-Jowett complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Express.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “’We still want you’ European cities pledge loyalty to UK after Brexit vote”, published on 22 November 2016. 

2. The complainant expressed concern that the newspaper had published a gallery entitled “The EU’s craziest decisions”, which made inaccurate claims about the decisions that the European Union had made. For instance, she said that it had inaccurately stated that the EU had banned unusually shaped bananas; that it had ruled that jam had to be 60 per cent sugar in order to be called jam; and that the EU had forbidden the sale of eggs by the dozen. She expressed concern that the newspaper had republished the gallery having previously withdrawn it. 

3. The newspaper said that it was not the same gallery that had previously been withdrawn; this gallery predated the other. It said that the gallery contained 13 images; it did not accept that all of the captions were inaccurate. It offered to remove five of the images and their captions, and to change the title to “The EU’s craziest ideas”.     

Relevant Code provisions 

4.    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. 

Mediated outcome 

5.    Although it did not accept that all the captions had been misleading, the newspaper offered to remove the gallery from its website. 

6.    The complainant said that the removal of the gallery 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: 23/11/2016

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 17/01/2017

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