Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Monday, January 18, 2010

PCC On Complaint Against Daily Mirror By Member of Parliament: No Breach

The Press Complaints Commission has ruled that the Daily Mirror reported accurately on Tory Member of Parliament Daniel Hannon's remarks concerning U.S. President Obama and reaction to them. Mr. Hannon had complained about the Mirror's characterization of his statements, saying they were a "gross distortion of his position" and that they violated the editors' code of practice.

The PCC has investigated and has ruled that

Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Code of Practice makes clear that newspapers are entitled to be partisan. Editors may select and present material for publication accordingly.

The Commission first considered the complaint about how Mr Hannan's comments on people's views of President Obama's ethnicity had been reported. Given the delicate subject matter, and the fact that the remarks were open to some interpretation, the Commission was satisfied that the newspaper's reporting in this instance was well within the range of political partisanship permitted by the Code of Practice.

The reference to the complainant's admiration for Enoch Powell was arguably slightly misleading, as the context of his regard for Powell - which was not to do with immigration - was unclear. However, the Commission considered that the proposal to publish a letter from the complainant was a suitable response to this part of the complaint. It would have allowed him to clarify both the nature of his comments about Enoch Powell and his views on those who criticise President Obama.

Read the entire adjudication here.

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