Ruling

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04999-15 Austin v Dover Express

    • Date complaint received

      8th October 2015

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement: Complaint 04999-15 Austin v Dover Express 

Summary of complaint

1. Tracy Austin complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that the Dover Express breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice by not publishing the outcome of a court case in which she had been involved. 

2. The complainant had appeared in court charged with unlawfully disclosing personal data; she had also initially been arrested on suspicion of theft. The newspaper had published several articles covering the case. The complainant said that at her last appearance in court the judge had accepted a discontinuance of the case by the Crown Prosecution Service, and also found the complainant not guilty. This had not been reported in the newspaper, which the complainant said gave an inaccurate and misleading impression of the case. 

3. The newspaper acknowledged that it had not published the outcome of the case, which it said had not been a deliberate decision. It offered to publish a story reporting that the case had been dropped, and to publish an interview with the complainant covering her side of the story.   

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 matter. 

6. The newspaper said that it would be happy to publish the outcome of the complainant’s case in the print newspaper, on page 5 above the fold, and on its website. 

7. The complainant said that the newspaper’s offer would resolve the matter to her 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: 17/08/2015

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 08/10/2015