Press complaint rejected

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The Independent Online
SIR Andrew Bowden MBE, MP for Brighton Kemptown, on behalf of a number of his constituents, complained that an article in the Independent on Sunday on 17 April 1994, 'Fear rules in no-go Britain', was unjustified in drawing special attention to Moulsecoomb as a no-go area by publishing a prominent photograph of the estate and in suggesting that this was an area where 'police, doctors, even postmen and milkmen think twice before going unescorted'. The complaint was raised under Clause 1 of the Code of Practice.

The newspaper pointed out that, following publication of the article, it had published a letter from a local resident which summarised the complainant's views. It had published this letter to give the residents an opportunity to reply to the report. However, it stood by the accuracy of its report and did not believe that there was any implication that the majority of residents were other than decent and law-abiding. The article indicated that the journalists had relied on what local sources had told them.

The Commission does not find that the photograph and caption unjustifiably suggested that Moulsecoomb was a significantly worse 'no-go area' than the other 39 featured, nor did it suggest that the majority of Moulsecoomb residents were not decent and law-abiding. In any event, the published letter provided an adequate reply for those who considered that the estate had been unfairly represented. The complaint is rejected.

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