Resolution Statement 04905-19 Markey v

    • Date complaint received

      10th October 2019

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy, 2 Privacy

Resolution Statement 04905-19 Markey v

Summary of Complaint

1. John Markey complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and Clause 2 (Privacy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Trio involved in promoting illegal Glasgow drug club unmasked”, published on 23 June 2019.

2. The article reported that the complainants was part of a group who has been “involved in advertising drug-fueled weekly events” at a local club night. It reported that the complainant specifically “promotes the unlicensed night-time activities”. The article also stated that the complainant was not available for comment.

3. The complainant said that the article inaccurately reported information that he was involved in illegal activity, in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy). He stated that the relationship he shared with the club night was minimal and he was in no way responsible for the events or for any illegal activity. Furthermore, he also said that, contrary to the article's claims, no attempt was made to contact him. He also said that the article intruded into his privacy and this could not be justified in the public interest.

4. The publication did not accept that there has been a breach of the Code. It did not accept that it was inaccurate to report that the complainant was partly responsible for the club night as its Facebook page listed him as Admin and Moderator. It also claimed that the reporter telephoned the complainant and visited three addresses registered to a ‘John Markey’.

Relevant Code Provisions

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.

iii) A fair opportunity to reply to significant inaccuracies should be given, when reasonably called for.

iv) The Press, while free to editorialise and campaign, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

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 intrusions into any individual's private life without consent. In considering an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy, account will be taken of the complainant's own public disclosures of information and the extent to which the material complained about is already in the public domain or will become so.

iii) It is unacceptable to photograph individuals, without their consent, in public or private places where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Mediated Outcome

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

6. During IPSO’s investigation, the newspaper offered to add a statement from the complainant, to the article, putting his position on the claims on record.

7. The complainant said that this resolved the matter to his satisfaction.

8. 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: 23/06/2019

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 02/09/2019