Resolution Statement: Complaint 04198-15 Smith v

    • Date complaint received

      1st July 2015

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04198-15 Smith v 

Summary of complaint

1. Tristan Smith complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that had published an article, headlined “Elton John’s helicopter ‘accidentally kills a deer’ as it lands to drop him at Cornwall show”, on 18 June 2015, which raised a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. 

2. The complainant is a helicopter pilot, and the article included photographs of him as the pilot of a helicopter which Sir Elton John was disembarking. He said that these photographs were taken in 2007; he had not been flying the helicopter that had landed at the Cornwall show. 

3. The newspaper removed from the photographs from the article and offered to append the following footnote: 

“This article originally contained photographs of Sir Elton John with a helicopter and its pilot, Tristan Smith. We would like to make clear that these photographs were taken in 2007, not on 15 July 2015.”   

Relevant Code Provisions

4. Clause 1 (Accuracy) 

i) The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures. 

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and – where appropriate – an apology published. 

Mediated outcome

5. The complaint was not resolved through direct correspondence between the parties. IPSO therefore began an investigation into the complaint. 

6. The matter was settled privately between the parties, mediated by IPSO. 

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: 22/06/2015

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 01/07/2015