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Complainant Name:
Mr Darren Harley

Clauses Noted: None

Publication: Gazette & Herald

Complaint:

Mr Darren Harley of Chippenham complained about a report of his brother’s funeral on the newspaper’s website. The complainant said his family had not wanted journalists to attend the funeral and had communicated their wishes to the local media via the police. Unfortunately, the newspaper was only made aware of the family’s request once its journalists had returned from the service. However, the complainant argued that it should have taken steps to ensure that material obtained by the journalists from the funeral should not have been used in the report. The fact that it had not taken such steps demonstrated that publication had not been handled sensitively in line with the requirements of Clause 5 of the Code of Practice.

Resolution:

The newspaper said that it had initially received information that its report contained some inaccuracies; and it took steps to correct those points. Subsequently, the newspaper was contacted by the complainant’s father, who made the family’s unhappiness plain and asked that the report be removed from the newspaper’s website. The article was duly removed. Moreover, when the funeral was reported in the newspaper itself, details were kept to a minimum.

Report: 76



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