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Wednesday, October 08, 2008 

Locked up myself and forced to eat journalism.

More quite brilliant examples of the high standards of British journalism via the Press Complaints Commission:

Complainant Name:
Resolved - Mr Iain Harris v Love It

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Love It

Complaint:

Mr Iain Harris complained that the magazine had used an inaccurate front page headline for an article in which his wife described her struggles with anorexia. It stated: “Locked up by my hubby and forced to eat”. In fact, his wife was sectioned under the Mental Health Act via a process that was controlled by a consultant, a GP and other medical staff.

Resolution:
The complaint was resolved privately by the parties, including through the magazine sending a letter of apology to the complainant, accepting that he had not behaved in any way improperly as to his wife’s sectioning and that the process was under the control of properly qualified medical staff.

But apart from that the story was true, right? Doubtless his wife was paid for her story; he by the looks of things has ended up with a big fat zero.

Love It! is owned by News International, and is handily summarised by its sadly vandalised Wikipedia page, which ought to be saved for posterity:

Love it! is a weekly magazine produced in the UK. It was launched on February 7, 2006 by News Magazines Ltd, News International's magazine division.

Entering into the so-called real life category, it is aimed at women aged 18-35 who have about two brain cells, combining inspirational real-life stories, sick stories about child abuse and rape with those on fashion, beauty and sex, including an advice column from a so called 'sexpert'.

The magazine has been heavily promoted by The Sun, News International's daily tabloid newspaper (Now there's a surprise!). Each week an article is lifted from the forthcoming magazine and published in The Sun to coincide with its release.


The Sun itself has also been heavily featured by the PCC of late:

Complainant Name:
Stonewall Scotland

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Scottish Sun

Complaint:

Ms Christina Stokes, Communications Officer at Stonewall Scotland, complained that an article which claimed that the organisation had been consulted in regard to new NHS uniforms was inaccurate and misleading.

Resolution:

Report: 77


Homophobia it seems is more acceptable above the border, or at least the Sun's hacks think so.

Complainant Name:
Resolved - Mr Mickey Morris v The Sun

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Sun

Complaint:

Mr Mickey Morris complained that an article on the newspaper’s website had inaccurately claimed that his son Lee, a paratrooper, felt safer fighting in Afghanistan than in his previous job as a male stripper.

Resolution:

Report: 77


Ah yes, now I remember why the Sun calls itself the forces' paper and why the likes of ARRSE love it so.

Complainant Name:
Resolved - Mathew Shaw v The Sun

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Sun

Complaint:

Mathew Shaw of Reading (who was not complaining as a representative of Robert Mugabe) complained that the newspaper had published an online article which featured photographs of a “palace with 30 bedrooms…where no expense was spared” and alleged that it belonged to Robert Mugabe. The complainant said the claim that the house belonged to Mr Mugabe was an urban myth.

Resolution:

The newspaper initially provided an article from the Daily Telegraph which it said featured the same house and made the same claim in respect of Robert Mugabe. The managing editor also said a Zimbabwean correspondent had confirmed the information.

The complainant provided evidence to dispute the claim that the house featured was the same as that which appeared in the Daily Telegraph. He contended that the house was in fact used on the movie set of the film Beethoven’s 4th (set in the US). He provided stills from the film which showed a “remarkable resemblance” to the house in the article. The newspaper thanked the complainant for drawing the issues to its attention and, given the nature of the evidence he had provided, it removed the article from its website.

The complainant considered that the newspaper might have published a correction or apology on the point but decided to resolve the matter on the basis of the removal of the online article.

Report: 77


You have to hand it to the Sun: more or less admitting that your article was pilfered from the Torygraph is a novel defense. It must be true, it was in the Telegraph, a serious newspaper! Still, who knew that Robert Mugabe lived in the same house as a fictional dog?

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