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Complainant Name:
A woman

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Shropshire Star


A headteacher complained that the newspaper had published an article in May 2010 about the death of one of the school's teachers which inaccurately stated that he had died of a heart attack while playing squash. The complainant represented the concerns of the wife of the deceased who also worked at the school. She explained that the teacher concerned was, in fact, taken ill at home, suffered a heart attack in hospital and sadly died as a result. The distress caused by the error was compounded when the mistake was repeated in a tribute piece published in November 2010.


The newspaper accepted that the original article contained an error. This was pointed out to the newspaper following publication and the electronic archive should have been amended accordingly at that time. It was not and, as such, the mistake was repeated. The newspaper said there was no excuse for this lapse and apologised to the complainant. The complaint was resolved when, following the complainant's specific request, the PCC arranged for the editor to provide a private letter for the benefit of the school and the family of the deceased. The letter contained an apology and detailed how practices at the newspaper would improve following the complaint. As a further precaution, the newspaper permanently removed both articles from its electronic archive.

Date Published: 04/03/2011

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