View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. Media Law
July 19, 2016updated 20 Jul 2016 12:53pm

Mail Online says Editors’ Code should not apply to articles written in US – IPSO complaint on Tom Cruise ‘bromance’ piece upheld

By Dominic Ponsford

Press regulator IPSO is reviewing its rules after Mail Online declined to defend an article about Tom Cruise written by journalists working on its US edition.

David Miscavige said the story headlined “Exclusive: inside the ‘bromance’ of Tom Cruise and Scientology founder David Miscavige: How they gamble and smoke cigars together and share a special language – but Miscavige secretly recorded the movie star”, published on 2 December 2015, was inaccurate.

He denied that a field had been “laser levelled out” to impress Cruise’s friend and that a field had been sown with wild flowers for Cruise.

He also denied he and Cruise had returned from a Las Vegas gambling trip with “bundles of cash”.

Mail Online declined to defend the story because, it said, most of the individuals mentioned in the article were American, the events had taken place in America and the piece was commissioned, written and edited by journalists working for its US edition.

It said the story complied with US law and conventions and was outside IPSO’s remit.

In the absence of any supporting evidence from Mail Online, IPSO upheld the complaint.

Content from our partners
Pugpig named best media technology partner of 2024 by AOP
Cannes Lions: The world's best creativity all in one place
L'Equipe signs content syndication deal with The Content Exchange

It said: “While it had published accounts provided by former members of the Church of Scientology, and attributed them accordingly, it had not demonstrated the process by which it had regard for the complainant’s previous denials of the allegations, and nor had it explained why it had failed to include his representative’s position, explained prior to publication, that the allegations which had been put to him were untrue.

“As such, the committee was unable to conclude that the steps taken prior to publication showed that Mail Online had taken care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information.”

IPSO ordered Mail Online to publish a critical adjudication on its home page for 24 hours.

The adjudication appears near the bottom of Mail Online’s extensive home-page next to a report noting that IPSO is reviewing its policy.

The Mail Online report states: “IPSO’s initiative recognises that it needs to adapt its rules if more global media players are to become members.

It also says that the principle that articles written abroad for a foreign audience should not be subject to IPSO had been a principle of it signing up to the regulator.

The original article remains online and does not appear to have been amended. No reference to the IPSO adjudication has been added.

IPSO has begun a consultation on whether it should continue to adjudicate on stories published by international editions of UK publications for a foreign audience.

Topics in this article : ,

Email to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network