Brighton Argus in double ruling from PCC

The PCC ruled that the paper was in breach of the code for publishing photos in January this year of MP Nicholas Soames with his and a friend’s children. It showed Soames driving a quad bike towing the children in a trailer.

Soames had complained that the faces of the children were not pixellated. The article made clear that this occurred shortly after a seven year old girl had died in a quad bike accident. The Commission ruled in June that the photograph concerned the children’s welfare and there was no need to identify them.

The Argus published the ruling on page 32 of the paper on 24 June, although the PCC’s code which states that newspapers are obliged to publish adjudications ‘in full and with due prominence, including headline reference to the PCC”.

The original story about Soames was on page eight, but the Argus asked the PCC to take into account the fact that the issue carrying the adjudication had more pages, meaning that it was ‘a similar distance from the back of the paper to the original article”.

In a second adjudication the PCC rejected the argument and demanded that the Argus publish a statement in a prominent position in the paper.

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