IMPRESS finds The Canary in standards breach over article criticising Laura Kuenssberg

An IMPRESS Regulatory Committee has found The Canary to be in breach of its Standards Code over an article criticising the BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg for speaking at the Conservative Party conference.   This follows an investigation by IMPRESS in response to a specific complaint and on issues identified by IMPRESS on its own initiative.

In the headline of the article first published at noon on 27 September 2017, The Canary stated “We need to talk about Laura Kuenssberg. She’s listed as a speaker at the Tory Party conference”.  In fact, as the remainder of the article made clear, Laura Kuenssberg had only been invited to speak at a fringe event. In misrepresenting those facts and in failing to take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy prior to publication, The Canary breached the IMPRESS Standards Code. An updated version of the article, that was released at 16:50 on 27 September 2017, also breached the Code because it did not correct this significant inaccuracy with due prominence.

The IMPRESS Standards Code requires significant inaccuracies to be corrected with due prominence, which should normally be equal prominence. The Canary was ordered by IMPRESS to publish a home page correction in the same-sized font as the original article and to release the correction on the same social media channels as the original article.

IMPRESS was contacted by 52 complainants who raised concerns about the article in question. Those complainants were directed to the Publisher’s own complaints procedure, in line with the IMPRESS Regulatory Scheme. Only one complainant chose to escalate their complaint to IMPRESS, following The Canary’s initial response to the complaint.   The Canary has cooperated fully with IMPRESS’s investigation into the complaint.

Click here to read the full adjudication by IMPRESS.