Complaint Adjudication - 463/2019

463/2019 Mr Stuart Campbell and The Ferret (online)

Publication: The Ferret
Date of complaint: 29 July 2019
Date complaint accepted:  31 July 2019
Date of adjudication: 16 August 2019
Relevant clauses: Accuracy 1.2 and 1.4 of the IMPRESS Standards Code
Outcome: Complaint dismissed. No breach.

Summary of Complaint

1.1. The Complainant is Stuart Campbell, who describes himself as a third-party complaining about the inaccuracy of published information. The Complainant has said to IMPRESS that he is not a directly affected party and has no personal or business interest in the issues covered by the article. The complained about article makes several references to reporting by the Wings Over Scotland Blog (which is published by the Complainant) on the findings of opinion polls, although those references do not form the basis of the complaint. The Committee considers that the Complainant can be directly affected by the outcome of the complaint, and is not a disinterested third party, but nothing in the adjudication turns on that question.

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 the accuracy of an article that first appeared online on The Ferret on 2 July 2019, with the headline “Claim of 82 per cent opposition to transgender self identification is Mostly False”.

1.4. The complaint is assessed against the IMPRESS Standards Code, the relevant clauses are:

Clause 1 (Accuracy)

1.2. Publishers must correct any significant inaccuracy with due prominence, which should normally be equal prominence, at the earliest opportunity.

1.4. Whilst free to be partisan, publishers must not misrepresent or distort the facts.

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463/2019 Mr Stuart Campbell and The Ferret (online)