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Complainant Name:
Press Complaints Commission

Clauses Noted: 1, 3

Publication: Sunday World


In December 2013, the Press Complaints Commission upheld a complaint from June McKibbin, via solicitors, against the Sunday World newspaper. The Commission has now issued a further rebuke to the newspaper for its failure to publish this ruling in compliance with the requirements set out in the Editors' Code of Practice.

The complaint was upheld under Clause 3 (Privacy) of the Editors' Code of Practice in relation to the publication by the newspaper of a photograph of the complainant, which the Commission found to have constituted an unjustified intrusion into the complainant's privacy.

On receipt of the Commission's ruling, the newspaper published the adjudication in the form of a news report. It did not agree the prominence of the item with the Commission in advance, and it edited the text so that a finding by the Commission that there was no breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) was more prominent than the adverse ruling under Clause 3.



The preamble to the Editors' Code of Practice states that "any publication judged to have breached the Code must publish the adjudication in full and with due prominence agreed with the Commission's Director, including headline reference to the PCC".

Requiring publication of an adverse adjudication is the ultimate sanction that the Commission can impose. The requirement that prominence be agreed with the Commission in advance was added to the Code in 2012. While the Commission noted the newspaper's points regarding the prominence it had afforded to the adjudication, its decision to publish the adjudication unilaterally, and in an edited form, was an unacceptable failure on the newspaper's part to comply with the requirements of the Code.

The Commission now requires the editor to publish this statement, in full and with due prominence, to be agreed with the Commission in advance. The original adjudication can be read here.

Date Published:

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