IPSO raps Press Journal over incorrect witness sex quote A regional daily has apologised after turning a series of yes and no answers from a trial witness into a direct quote in a court report.
The Independent Press Standards Organisationhas rapped Aberdeen daily The Press Journal over a court report in which one of its journalists paraphrased a number of and answers as direct quotations from the witness. The newspaper quoted Mareece Goring as saying she sex with defendant Karl Pattinson, when in fact she had merely answered when asked whether she had had sex with him. Pattinson, pictured above left, was found guilty of assaulting Ms Goring, described as his lover, after seizing her at her marital home following a all night party. Press Journal reported evidence given at Inverness Sheriff Court by 24 year old Pattinson, who claimed he had given Mrs Goring a hug because she was upset. It also quoted Mrs Goring, 31, as saying under cross examination: burberry clutch bag have been married for seven years and my husband was not aware of the relationship. But we were talking about separating. I had sex with Karl after the break up. My husband found out and we separated. I am no longer separated. Goring complained to IPSO about the story burberry skirt under Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice, claiming she did not say much of what she was quoted as saying in the article and had rather only answered or to questions on these topics. She added that it was inaccurate for the article to suggest that she had an affair with Pattinson because she was separated from her husband at the time of the relationship. The P accepted that best practice was not followed in reporting the question and answer sequence as though the complainant had been quoted directly, but said that this was human error rather than the wilful making up of burberry sales online quotes. However, the newspaper said that had the sequence been put into reported speech burberry au sale without quotes, it considered that would have been an accurate summary of the exchanges between the complainant and the defence representative, and that overall the way the matter had been reported did not give a distorted view of the evidence the complainant had given. Mrs Goring had told the court that she was married and explained that she and her husband were talking about a separation, therefore the P believed it was not unreasonable to conclude from this answer that she and her husband were still together at the time she was in a relationship with Pattinson. Nonetheless, it offered to publish a number of corrections and an apology for any upset caused to Mrs Goring. IPSO found the P would have been entitled to note Mrs Goring agreement or disagreement with the questions asked in court but had instead paraphrased them and presented them as direct quotations from the complainant. It concluded that this represented a failure to take care over the accuracy of the article, and ordered the P to now publish its offered correction with due prominence. However, it noted that while Mrs Goring and her husband were not separated at the time of her relationship with Pattinson, it was not significantly misleading of the article to characterise this affair in circumstances where she was still married. The complaint was upheld, and the full adjudication can be read here. Shocking that such a basic error could make it into print or the web, or anywhere the public can read it.
It one thing to paraphrase if you quoting the organiser of a recent community event or festival (in fact, one contact recently thanked me for me sound way more articulate than I actually am but you got to be dead strict with court, inquests, council and the like. As Kevin Duffy points out, I wonder if the reporter shorthand was up to scratch. Few newsrooms these days have sufficient resources to step back from the constant firefighting and ensure staff are getting adequate professional development.
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