Decision of the Complaints Committee 16344-17 Funnell v mirror.co.uk
1. Andrew Funnell complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that mirror.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Revealed: FULL tape of Tommy Robinson fight shows battered victim struggling to walk as witness rubbishes activists self-defence claim,” published on 25 June 2017.
2. The article reported that Tommy Robinson had been involved in a fight at Ascot Racecourse. The article reported that Mr Robinson’s claim that he had acted in self-defence had been contested by a witness, who had filmed the incident. The article included the video footage, which was described as the “full tape of Tommy Robinson fight.”
3. The complainant said that it was misleading for the headline to state that this was the full tape of the fight as there was three minutes of footage missing.
4. The publication provided the full, unedited footage. The publication said that three minutes elapsed between Mr Robinson first appearing on camera and the fight beginning. It said that the intervening period had been edited out of the version that appeared in the article as it contained no information relating to the fight. The publication said that the headline was not misleading as the video was the full tape of the fight and that the article made clear that a period of time had elapsed between Mr Robinson appearing on camera and the fight breaking out.
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.
Findings of the Committee
6. The edited video included in the article firstly identified Mr Robinson, and then showed the full fight which had broken out between him and another individual at Ascot Racecourse. The article had made clear that time had elapsed between Mr Robinson getting off the coach and the fight beginning, and the three minutes of footage that did not appear in the online video, did not relate to the incident or either party involved. The Committee noted that all the footage from the extended tape relating to the fight was included in the online video, therefore, it was not misleading for the headline to state it was the “full tape” of the fight. There was no breach of Clause 1.
7. The complaint was not upheld.
Remedial action required
Date complaint received: 26/06/2017
Date decision issued: 11/08/2017
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