Ruling

Resolution Statement 11902-20 Khan v Birminghammail.co.uk

    • Date complaint received

      3rd December 2020

    • Outcome

      Resolved - IPSO mediation

    • Code provisions

      1 Accuracy

Resolution Statement 11902-20 Khan v Birminghammail.co.uk

Summary of Complaint

1. Asaf Khan complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation that Birminghammail.co.uk breached Clause 1 of the Editors’ Code of Practice in an article headlined “Coronavirus hotspot Lozells is among first in country to get 'walk through' test centre”, published on 6 July 2020.

2. The online article reported that a new ‘walk through’ COVID-19 testing centre was opening in Birmingham. It reported that centre was located “at the corner of Villa Street and Nursery Street, in the heart of Lozells”.

3. The complainant said that the article was inaccurate in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) because the test centre was located in Newtown, rather than in Lozells, and at the corner of Villa Street and “Nursery Road”.

4. The publication did not accept that the article breached the Code, as it considered the alleged inaccuracies identified by the complainant minor and not significantly inaccurate or misleading. The publication also said that the information included in the article was based upon a press release by Birmingham City Council and published in good faith.

Relevant Clause 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

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 publication offered to amend the online article, changing the location of the test centre to Newtown and amending the address to Nursery Street. The publication also offered to include the following correction as a footnote:  

“A previous version of this article stated that the test centre was located in Lozells. This was based on a press release published by Birmingham City Council. We have since been advised that the test centre is in fact located in Newtown. We are happy to clarify this.”

7. The complainant said that this would resolve 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: 15/07/2020 

Date complaint concluded by IPSO: 12/11/2020