Resolution statement Complaint 16933-17 Jennens v The Sun
Summary of complaint
1. Mark Jennens complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that The Sun breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Spud row son ‘killer’”, published on 14 July 2017.
2. The complainant said that the headline to the article had given the inaccurate impression that he had killed his mother. He had appeared in court charged with her murder, but he had been found not guilty. He had alerted the newspaper to the outcome of the case, but it had failed to respond or to report it for two and a half weeks.
Relevant Code provisions
3. 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.
4. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the matter.
5. The newspaper said that it had accurately reported the original court proceedings. It considered that when a newspaper is made aware of the outcome of court proceedings, by a defendant or otherwise, it may be appropriate to publish an update to keep readers informed of the status of the case. In this instance, the complainant’s email about the outcome of the trial had been overlooked in error. To resolve the complaint, it updated the article and offered to write a letter to the complainant apologising for the delay.
6. The complainant accepted the newspaper’s offer as a resolution to his complaint.
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: 19/07/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 23/08/2017Back to ruling listing