Where There Were No Doors

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before - Joseph Campbell

Friday, November 11, 2005

More about 'The Sun'

I will spend an hour researching, drafting and submitting an independent complaint to the Press Complaints Commission about Rebekah Wade's conduct and/or material published by the Sun before and after the 90-day terror law vote, but only if 50 other people will too.
To be honest, I really couldn't wait until 50 others signed up, and I've already made a complaint to the Press Complaints Commission with regards to the cynical manipulation of Mr. Tulloch's image to further the agenda of a national tabloid newspaper.

I urge my reader to do the same.

I've got some links below the fold to help you do just that, as well as the text of my complaint (note: it's important that people draft their own text - though basing it loosely upon a template is probably fine - as obvious carbon copies will be ignored).

There are two distinct issues which have left The Sunt open to legitimate complaint this week. The first is the use of Mr. John Tulloch's image juxtaposed with a headline that completely contradicts his views (discussed in my piece yesterday). The second is the attack on those who voted against the 90-day measure, and labelling them "traitors".

I have chosen to focus on the first of those (for no other reason than it angers me in a way that newspapers haven't done for some time) but people should feel free to complain about both.

Links and ting

First head on over to "Report Rebekah Wade to the PCC - and do it today" at bloggerheads and read Tim's piece. He includes all of the important links, but just for reference...

The Sun front page that pissed me off.
The 'Traitors' one.

The Press Complaints Commission:
- Home page
- Code of Practice
- Online complaints form

Notes for making a complaint:
- it is important that a link to the piece in question is included.
Tulloch:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2005050000-2003410033,00.html

Traitors:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2005050000-2005082056,00.html

- it is important that the relevant clauses of the Code of Practice (the ones you feel have been breached) are listed in your complaint (you can identify them simply by number and don't have to cite the full text):
1 - Accuracy
i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, mis-leading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published.

iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.


5 - Intrusion into grief or shock
In cases involving personal grief or shock, enquiries and approaches must be made with sympathy and discretion and publication handled sensitively. This should not restrict the right to report legal proceedings, such as inquests.
And finally, this is the text of my complaint. I don't suggest you use it as a template as I'm actually quite unhappy with the wording. I suspect you, dear reader, can come up with something better...
Clauses breached:
Clause 1 (i) and (iii) plus Clause 5.

URL of story:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2005050000-2003410033,00.html

To Whom It May Concern:

The Sun's front page on November 8th initially angered me for the blatant piece of political manipulation that it is. However I assumed that the pictured bomb victim had permitted his image to be used and had expressed the sentiment of the headline (though I did assume it wasn't a direct quote as it did not have quotation marks). Therefore it seemed like just another example of a tabloid being its usual shameful self.

The anger I felt, however, was as nothing compared to my anger and dismay when - two days later in The Guardian - it was revealed that the gentleman in question (Mr. John Tulloch) had not been consulted about the use of his image and indeed held views which directly contradicted those expressed in the headline!

It is appalling that a national newspaper can feature a full - front page - image of a person in the midst of an extremely traumatic event and clearly imply that the person holds a particular view in the hope of making readers more sympathetic towards that view. If this cynical manipulation of facts, images and reader opinion is allowed to go unchallenged it makes a complete mockery of everything that a newspaper is supposed to stand for. It erodes trust in British journalism in general, as well as causing clear distress to the individual pictured (as expressed in the Guardian piece).

Mr. Tulloch is owed an apology from The Sun which is as prominent as the piece which deliberately misrepresented him. And perhaps almost as importantly, The Sun has a duty to inform its readers about the nasty manipulation of their views and emotions it engaged in through the deceitful use of images and headlines.
Please folks, do make a complaint about this. We all accept that tabloid newspapers engage in shoddy journalism and corporate propaganda. However The Sun have stepped way over the line this time and need to be held to account.

1 Comments:

Blogger Larry Teabag said...

Jim I've just signed the pledge and was on the point of wondering how to actually go about complaining.

Many thanks for the info.

11/11/05 17:59  

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