300/2020 Robert A. Brown and The Ferret (online)
Publication: The Ferret
Date of complaint: 1 June 2020
Date complaint accepted: 6 August 2020
Date of adjudication: 8 September 2020
Relevant clauses: Accuracy 1.1 and 1.4 of the IMPRESS Standards Code
Outcome: Complaint dismissed. No breach.
Summary of Complaint
1.1. The Complainant is Robert A. Brown (“the Complainant”), a third party seeking to ensure the accuracy of published information. He has confirmed to IMPRESS that he is not an affected party or the representative of an affected party.
1.2. The Respondent is The Ferret Media Ltd, which publishes online as The Ferret, and is an investigative journalism platform co-operative for Scotland and beyond, that has been regulated by IMPRESS since 16 June 2016.
1.3. The complaint concerns an article that first appeared in The Ferret (online) on 9 April 2020 with the headline, “Does Vitamin D help to fight off Covid-19?”, under the collective category of an article series titled, “Fact check: debunking myths about coronavirus”.
1.4. The complaint is assessed against the IMPRESS Standards Code, the relevant clauses are:
Clause 1 (Accuracy)
1.1. Publishers must take all reasonable steps to ensure accuracy.
1.4. Whilst free to be partisan, publishers must not misrepresent or distort the facts.