Resolution Statement Complaint 04701-16 Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust v Daily Mail

    • Date complaint received

      4th August 2016

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Complaint 04701-16 Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust v Daily Mail

Summary of complaint

1. Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust (JRCT) complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Daily Mail breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Pro-terrorist charity that funded advert”, published on 27 May 2016.

2. The article reported that the JRCT had funded an advert for Operation Black Vote, and had also given money to organisations with links to terrorism.

3. The complainant said that it was inaccurate to describe the organisation, in the headline of the first edition, as “pro-terrorist”, and that the charity had not funded the advert in question. It said that the article included a number of other inaccuracies about funding provided by the charity.

4. The newspaper did not accept a breach of the Code, but acknowledged that the complainant was unhappy with the headline. It offered to publish a clarification making clear that the JRCT was not a pro-terrorist charity.

5. The complainant said that the wording proposed by the newspaper was not sufficient to resolve the complaint.   

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.

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 newspaper offered to publish the following clarification and apology in its corrections column in print and online:

The first edition headline on an article on May 27 about the funding of the organisation responsible for a controversial referendum advert referred to the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust as a 'pro-terrorist charity'. We are happy to make clear that the JRCT does not support or fund terrorism. We apologise for the error. We are also happy to clarify that, while the JRCT is one of two organisations providing core funding to Operation Black Vote, it had no prior knowledge of the advert and did not pay for it.

9. The newspaper also offered to make amendments to the online version of the article, to reflect the complainant’s concerns about the presentation of the funding it offered.

10. The complainant said this would resolve the matter to its satisfaction.

11. 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: 16/06/2016
Date concluded by IPSO: 21/07/2016