Tsunami victim photo did not breach Code

By Dominic Ponsford

The Daily Mirror has been cleared by the Press Complaints Commission
despite going against the wishes of a woman’s family by publishing a
photograph of a victim of the Asian tsunami.

The paper contacted the family of Alice Claypoole, who had been
missing since the disaster, and was told they did not want her picture
to appear in the paper. The family complained under Clause 5 of the
Editors’ Code (intrusion into grief or shock) when pictures found on
the web were published in the paper.

According to the Mirror, the
picturedesk had not been aware of the family’s request. Editor Richard
Wallace later wrote to them to apologise.

The PCC said that while
the “lapse may have been understandable given that news of such an
enormous tragedy had to be gathered at great speed, the Commission
nonetheless regretted the breakdown in communications”.

It added
it would “not normally consider that the publication of an innocuous
photograph of someone who was subsequently caught up in such a shocking
news event, obtained from a public resource such as the internet, would
breach Clause 5”.

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