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Complainant Name:
Mrs Angela Zemlak

Clauses Noted: 1, 3

Publication: Harborough Mail

Complaint:

Mrs Angela Zemlak of Market Harborough complained that an article about an incident at Harborough Leisure Centre – where her husband had been taken ill and two lifeguards had attempted to resuscitate him – contained inaccuracies and was intrusive. While he was not identified by name in the coverage, the complainant indicated that her husband was not on his way to recovery, as had been claimed. The date and certain details of the incident had also been misreported. The complainant was concerned that the newspaper had not made sufficient checks – such as contacting her family – to establish the accuracy of the information prior to publication.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the editor sent a letter to the complainant, apologising for the way in which the case had been handled and the distress caused by the coverage. While he said that the article had been published in good faith, the editor indicated that the case had highlighted issues about the way in which information was gathered and published, as well as the manner in which complaints were handled. He undertook to verify information more thoroughly in the future if a similar situation arose. The complainant accepted the editor’s apology as a resolution to her complaint.

Report: 78



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