Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Sun resolves Nutt complaint - when will the Mail follow suit?

Back in November, the Sun did a disgraceful hatchet job on Stephen Nutt, son of sacked Government drug advisor Prof. David Nutt. Stephen was in no way a public figure and publishing photos from his Facebook page was an invasion of privacy, with no public interest angle and simply shoddy and cheap journalism.

Needless to say, the Mail published the same story soon after:

Both articles soon vanished because of an inevitable complaint to the PCC. And the issue has now been resolved following publication of a letter from Stephen Nutt in the Sun:

Further to your article about photographs of me on my Facebook site, (November 14) I would like to make clear the pictures were not posted by me and while I had been drinking I was smoking a rolled-up cigarette which did not contain cannabis as the article insinuated.

My younger sister Lydia was not intoxicated, so was not drinking under age. My older brother lives in Sweden where it is custom to use a sauna followed by a ‘romp' in the snow in winter. He was neither drunk nor under the influence of intoxicants.

Innocuous photographs were taken out of context in an attempt to discredit my father's work.

With Nutt agreeing to the letter, the Sun have avoided having to print any retraction or apology.

But since the original article appeared online, not just in the printed version, the letter must appear there too. But as yet, it doesn't.

Moreover, the PCC do not record the Mail publishing any such letter either in the paper or online. So not for the first time there seems to be a disconnect in how the same story is corrected by different papers.

Is it that the PCC doesn't know how to hold the Mail to account in this case without a complaint, or that it doesn't want to?

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