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Complainant Name:
Johannah Flaherty

Clauses Noted: 1, 2

Publication: The Daily Telegraph


Johannah Flaherty complained to the Press Complaints Commission on behalf of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) that a comment article which claimed the School had ordered the removal from an exhibition of a photo taken by a Saudi artist lest it insult Muslims had raised a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code.

The complainant said that the exhibition had taken place at a SOAS gallery, but the independent curators of the exhibition (who were not employed by SOAS) had stated that the School had no involvement with the decision to include or exclude any works, including the work in question. The complainant took the view that in publishing this statement without verifying it with either the curators or the School, the newspaper had failed to take care not to publish inaccurate information.

The complainant was also concerned that the article had referred to "anti-Western and anti-Israel propaganda emanating from some SOAS academics and students", which she regarded as damaging to the School's reputation.


The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the removal of the reference to the exhibition from the article on the newspaper's website and all external archives, a note of the complainant's concerns on the newspaper's internal archives, and a meeting between the two parties. The newspaper also stated that it had no present intention of republishing the disputed phrase concerning the removal of the artwork from the exhibition.

Date Published: 30/07/2010

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