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  1. Media Law
April 8, 2016

Local newspaper censured by IPSO for ‘gratuitous’ report of inquest witness testimony

By John Reynolds

The Gravesend News Shopper has been censured by press regulator IPSO over a report of an inquest into a woman's suicide.

Even though the paper was reporting proceedings in open court, IPSO said it breached Clause 5 of the Editors' Code (intrusion into grief) by reporting a witness description of the dead woman that was "gratuitous".

IPSO said in its ruling: "While Clause 5 protects the press’ right to report legal proceedings, it requires that publication is handled sensitively in cases involving personal grief or shock."

However it took the view that the neighbour's description of the decease was "gratuitous" and said "given the potential for such an emotive description to cause distress, its inclusion represented a failure to handle publication sensitively".

Read the adjudication in full here.

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