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Complainant Name:
Ms Pamela Scott on behalf of Mrs Brenda Low

Clauses Noted: 4, 5, 10

Publication: The Courier (Dundee)


Ms Pamela Scott complained on behalf of Mrs Brenda Low that a journalist had acted in breach of Clause 4 (Harassment), Clause 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) and Clause 10 (Clandestine devices and subterfuge) of the Code. The complainant said that the journalist - who was wearing a RNLI jacket - had made an unsolicited visit to her house in the aftermath of her husband's tragic death, and that he had claimed to be from the RNLI in order to gain admittance. She also complained that, after his identity as a journalist had been revealed, he continued to question her, and did not handle the situation with sensitivity.


The editor explained that the journalist was a volunteer member of the RNLI, but said that he had not intended to use his jacket to mislead the complainant. He contended that the journalist had immediately identified himself as such to the complainant, and - once it became clear that she did not wish to speak - had apologised for the intrusion and misunderstanding. The editor wrote a letter of apology to the complainant, acknowledging the differing accounts and making clear that he had told the journalist that it was inappropriate for him to have worn his RNLI jacket when making such a visit. The complaint was resolved on that basis.

Report: 79

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