Mr Michael Smith, Editor, Village Magazine and the Irish Examiner

Saturday, 31st January 2015
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The Press Council of Ireland decided that the Irish Examiner offered to take sufficient remedial action to resolve part of a complaint made by Mr Michael Smith, Editor of the Village magazine, about an article published on 1 April 2014.    Other parts of the complaint were not upheld.

Mr Smith complained under Principle 1 (Truth and Accuracy) of the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Magazines that a statement in the article that Village Magazine and its editor had apologised in court for remarks it made about a Green Party councillor in a planning “corruption special” was inaccurate.   The editor of the Irish Examiner offered to publish a clarification of the matter.

While this offer was not accepted by the complainant, the Press Council found that it was an offer of sufficient remedial action by the newspaper to resolve this part of the complaint.

Mr Smith also complained that the article breached Principles 3 (Fairness and Honesty) and 7 (Court Reporting) of the Code of Practice.  He complained that by linking the first two sentences of the article, and linking them to the headline, the implication was given that he and his magazine apologised for “false and defamatory publication”.  He also complained that it was not made clear in the article that the apology referred to was a reiteration of an apology already given, and that the article reported that differences were “resolved amicably”, without reporting what the differences were.   The Press Council decided that these parts of Mr Smith’s complaint did not breach the Code of Practice.

31 January 2015