Scottish Mail on Sunday Rapped by PCC

The Scottish Mail on Sunday newspaper has been rapped by the Press Complaints Commission for publishing an article considered to be inaccurate.

It follows a complaint from Alan Bain, president of a charity, the American-Scottish Foundation. Bain says that an article in the paper had inaccurately claimed that he and the organisation were at the centre of a criminal investigation following a complaint about him to the Office of New York’s Attorney General. But, it emerged, the complaint to the ONYAG had in fact been lodged by the freelance journalist who wrote the article – and that the article did not make that fact clear.

Added Bain: No formal investigation was subsequently initiated.

Says the Press Complaints Commission: “In upholding the complaint, the Commission concluded that the article was clearly misleading, as it did not make clear that the complaint had come from the journalist herself. The newspaper had also overstated the position regarding the alleged ‘investigation’, and, in doing so, had failed to take care not to publish inaccurate material. These were serious matters, which could not be easily or proportionately remedied with an apology, and resulted in a breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of [the PCC] Code. The newspaper was also criticised for its failure to provide a quick response to the complaint.”

An apology was run by the paper on Sunday.

Read more, here.

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