Saturday, 24 August 2013

Dun v Jersey Evening Post.

To: mikedun
Sent: Thursday, August 22, 2013 8:54 AM
Subject: Our reference: 133396

Dear Mr Dun

Further to our previous correspondence, the Commission has now made its assessment of your complaint under the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The Commission members have asked me to thank you for giving them the opportunity to consider the points you raised. However, their decision is that there has been no breach of the Code in this case. A full explanation of the Commission’s decision is below.

Although the Commissioners have come to this view, they have asked me to send a copy of your correspondence to the editor to draw your concerns to the publication’s attention.

If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your complaint has been handled - as opposed to the Commission’s decision itself - you should write within one month to the Independent Reviewer, whose details can be found in our How to Complain leaflet or on the PCC website at the following link:

Thank you for taking this matter up with us.

With best wishes

Yours sincerely

James Garmston

Commission’s decision in the case of
Dun v Jersey Evening Post

The complainant considered that the newspaper had breached Clause 1 (Accuracy) and 12 (Discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice. The newspaper published articles reporting concerns about ‘white van men’ from the UK and immigrants living and working in Jersey illegally. The complainant was concerned that the coverage was inaccurate and discriminatory. The complainant said that this represented a prejudiced and discriminatory generalisation about ‘white van men’.

The complainant said that there had been a failure to distinguish comment from fact, in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy). He was also concerned that the articles had not discussed whether ‘Islanders’ might also be acting illegally.

Clause 1 (Accuracy) states that “the press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information” and “the press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact”.

The coverage of 10/07/13 had reported the policy which had been announced in response to Deputy Power’s concern “that new border checks were needed to catch ‘white van men’ coming to work under the radar”. The newspaper had been entitled to report the remarks which had clearly been attributed to Deputy Power. The Commission noted that the comments appeared to have been used to characterise the type and nature of the work which some politicians believed was insufficiently regulated. There had been no suggestion that all ‘white van men’ were working illegally or should be reported.

The article of 23/07/13 had reported the remarks of Pat Walker, director of Brenwal Ltd engineering company, who expressed concern about Jersey’s regulations surrounding illegal workers. Mr Walker expressed the view that Guernsey does a much better job at policing ‘white van men’. The comments attributed to Mr Walker, clearly represented his personal opinion about the regulations in place. There had not been a failure to distinguish comment from fact. There was no breach of the Code on this point.

In the context of articles about immigrants working illegally, the omission of information regarding illegal activity by ‘Islanders’ had not been significantly misleading. There was no breach of Clause 1. 

Clause 12 (Discrimination) states that “the press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.” While the Commission noted the concern that the articles had been discriminatory, it made clear that Clause 12 does not cover prejudicial or pejorative references to ‘white van men’. The Commission also made clear that Clause 12 does not cover references to groups or categories of people. The article had not made discriminatory reference towards an individual. In the absence of reference to a particular individual there was no breach of Clause 12.

James Garmston
Complaints Officer

Press Complaints Commission
Halton House
20/23 Holborn
London EC1N 2JD

Tel: 020 7831 0022

Description: pcc#

Submitted by Tom Gruchy.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Saturday, 10 August 2013

voiceforchildren: A Snapshot of Jersey Justice/Administration.

voiceforchildren: A Snapshot of Jersey Justice/Administration.: The first segment is of former Health Minister Stuart Syvret which he published on his own Blog HERE The second is a member of public wh...