PCC Complaint. The Hull Daily Mail, 12th April 2012
—– Original Message —–
From: Peter Reynolds
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 11:39 AM
Subject: Complaint against The Hull Daily Mail, issue dated 12th April 2012
“Hornsea man, 35, who smoked cannabis at 10, found dead by his dad”, The Hull Daily Mail, 12-04-12
I wish to make a complaint concerning the above article. It is still available online at: http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/Hornsea-man-35-smoked-cannabis-10-dead-dad/story-15790419-detail/story.html
I make the complaint on my own account but also in my capacity as the Leader of Cannabis Law Reform (CLEAR), a UK political party, of P.O.Box 674, Salfords, Redhill, RH1 9BN. For the purposes of correspondence, please use my personal address as below.
1. The article breaches clause 1.i) of the code in that it publishes misleading and distorted information.
2. The headline states: “Hornsea man, 35, who smoked cannabis at 10, found dead by his dad.”, the clear implication being that cannabis was in some way responsible for his death. However, the article itself makes clear that the coroner’s determination of the cause of death was pneumonia and a fatal dose of methadone. Therefore, the headline, while strictly accurate, is clearly deliberately misleading. It distorts the truth for the purpose of sensationalising the story. The journalist and editor concerned know full well and indeed rely on the fact that many readers will take the message from the misleading headline without reading any further.
I would be grateful if you would deal with this complaint at your earliest convenience. I shall be happy to provide any further information required or to give oral evidence in support.