Ruling

Resolution Statement – 10893-22 Lund v westerntelegraph.co.uk

    • Date complaint received

      24th November 2022

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement – 10893-22 Lund v westerntelegraph.co.uk

Summary of Complaint

1. Nicola Lund complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that westerntelegraph.co.uk breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Keep it Cash: Haverfordwest protest against a cashless society”, published on 1 August 2022.

2. The article reported that a protest organised by the group “Keep it Cash” had taken place in Haverfordwest; the group were protesting against a cashless society and “calling for businesses to continue to allow customers to buy products in hard currency”. The article included a number of photographs of a woman speaking at the protest, one of which was captioned “[the complainant] has warned of the dangers of not allowing people to use cash to buy products”. The article by-line was credited to a named Facebook Community Reporter.

3. The complainant – the woman identified as the person speaking at the protest in the photos –­ said that the article was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 as the photos included in the article had named her as the person speaking at the protest, when she was not the woman in the pictures. The complainant said that she had contacted the publication after she became aware of the article, and that, subsequently, one photograph caption was amended to remove her name, however, her name still appeared under another photograph.

4. The complainant also considered there had been a breach of Clause 1 as she had drafted the original version of the article and had sent it to the publication. She said she had not been looking for payment for the article, but considered that the article should not have been attributed to the Facebook Community Reporter without any acknowledgement of her contribution.

5. The publication said it did not accept a breach of the Editors’ Code. In relation to the photograph captions, it said that this was a mistake, and that both photograph captions had been amended within two days. In regard to the by-line of the article, the publication said that it considered the submission from the complainant to be a press release, and that it was usual practice for reporters to “re-work” press releases and publish them under their name. While it did not consider there had been a breach of the Editors’ Code, the publication amended the by-line to credit the complainant.

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.

Mediated Outcome

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

7. During IPSO’s investigation the publication printed the following clarification at the top of the article:

Apology: A previous version of this article wrongly named Nicola Lund as the woman in the picture, we are happy to clarify.

8. The complainant said that this would resolve the matter to her satisfaction.

9. 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: 02/08/2022

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 04/11/2022