Press Release - Press Council of Ireland and Office of the Press Ombudsman launch of 2020 Annual Report

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Friday, 3rd July 2020
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Launch of the 2020 Annual Report of the Press Council of Ireland and Office of the Press Ombudsman

The Press Council of Ireland and Office of the Press Ombudsman today launched their Annual Report for 2020.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions the physical launch cannot take place.

In 2020 the Office of the Press Ombudsman received 347 complaints. The total number of complaints received in 2020 is well up on 2019 when 252 complaints were received. Between  Press Ombudsman decisions and appeals to the Press Council seven  complaints were upheld in 2020.  Twenty-five complaints were resolved to the satisfaction of complainants through the Office’s conciliation service.

As with most previous years the Principle most cited in complaints was Principle 1 (Truth and Accuracy). The other Principles that were most regularly cited were Principle 9 (Children), Principle 8 (Prejudice) and  Principle 5 (Privacy).

204 complaints referred to national newspapers (print and online), 27 to online-only news publications and  23 to local newspapers (print and online)

2020 was of course dominated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Office of the Press Ombudsman received 52   complaints that referred to Covid 19. Only one complaint about newspaper coverage of pandemic related issues was upheld and this was a   breach of privacy.  Several other Covid related complaints were resolved through the Office’s conciliation service.

This is what the chair of the Press Council, Seán Donlon, had to say about Covid-19 and journalism in 2020.

One news story dominated newspapers, magazines and online-only news services in 2020, the impact of Covid-19. The Irish media’s response to the challenge of reporting on the first pandemic for over a hundred years was overwhelmingly professional with the provision of objective information, analysis and debate. This considerable achievement was made against a backdrop of significant declining resources and the need for remote working.

The Annual Report is available here and on the Press Ombudsman and Press Council website (  


For press queries contact:  

Peter Feeney 
Press Ombudsman  
087 251 3880