Clauses Noted: 1, 5
Mrs Noreen Zavaroni of Clydebank raised a number of concerns over the publication of an article which had inaccurately reported the cause of her five year old son David’s death. The complainant argued that the inaccuracy would have been avoided had greater effort been made to contact the family prior to publication. She was also concerned over the newspaper’s publication of her sixteen year old daughter Carla’s expressions of grief – taken from her website – in addition to the connection drawn in the article to incidents involving other members of the Zavaroni family, who she felt were irrelevant to the tragic death of her son.
The newspaper did not accept that its references to other members of the Zavaroni family or the inclusion of comments from a publicly accessible website breached the Code. However, the complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following apology and correction:
In the Clydebank Post edition of Thursday April 26, we reported on the tragic death of David Zavaroni. We now accept that the information regarding the cause of David's death was factually inaccurate. We would like to apologise fully for any distress our reporting may have caused the Zavaroni family. The Post has now re-evaluated its procedures regarding how information is obtained in cases of a sensitive nature such as this.
Although the complainant accepted the published apology as a resolution to her complaint with regard to the inaccuracy in the article, as a bereaved parent she remained concerned over the newspaper’s publication of her daughter’s expressions of sorrow, and the references to the fame and notoriety of extended members of her family as she disputed their relevance to the death of her son.
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