Ruling

Resolution Statement 04632-17 Corbin v Kent Online

    • Date complaint received

      10th August 2017

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy, 2 Privacy, 4 Intrusion into grief or shock, 5 Reporting suicide, 6 Children

Resolution Statement 04632-17 Corbin v Kent Online

Summary of complaint

1. C Corbin complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Kent Online breached Clause 1 (Accuracy), Clause 2 (Privacy), Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock), Clause 5 (Reporting Suicide) and Clause 6 (Children) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article published on 1 December 2016.

2. The article reported on the inquest into the death of the complainant’s father. The article reported contributing factors that the inquest heard may have led to his death.

3. The complainant said that the article, including the headline, was misleading, as it distorted information heard during the inquest regarding the contributing factors to her father’s death.

4. The complainant also said that the publication of this article had been distressing for her family, including children, and had intruded into their grief.

5. The publication expressed sympathy for the family during this difficult time. The publication said that the headline was based on comments made by the assistant coroner during the inquest. The publication provided a recording of the inquest proceedings, and maintained that the article was an accurate summary of the inquest’s findings.

Relevant Code provisions

6. 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.

Clause 2 * (Privacy)

i) Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications.

ii) Editors will be expected to justify intrusion into any individual’s private life without consent. Account will be taken of the complainant’s own public disclosures of information.

Clause 4 (Intrusion into grief or shock)

In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. These provisions should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings.

Clause 5 * (Reporting suicide)

When reporting suicide, to prevent simulative acts care should be taken to avoid excessive detail of the method used, while taking into account the media’s right to report legal proceedings.

Clause 6 * (Children)

i) All pupils should be free to complete their time at school without unnecessary intrusion.

Mediated outcome

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

8. Following IPSO’s intervention, the publication offered to remove the article and gave an assurance it would not be reproduced in the future.

9. The complainant said that this resolved the matter to her satisfaction.

10. 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: 31/03/2017
Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 09/06/2017