ECU Ruling: Jewish man jeered at SOAS university debate, News Online, 17 December 2009

Complaint

The item reported a claim that a Jewish contributor from the floor had been the subject of anti-Semitic abuse. News Online quickly acknowledged that this claim was contradicted by others present, and replaced the original report with a more accurate account of the situation within 24 hours. However, two people involved in the organisation of the debate complained that this action was insufficient.

Outcome

Although the action taken by News Online would be sufficient to resolve a complaint in most circumstances, in this instance the original report had been reflected in other online items and in the press. In addition to replacing it with a more accurate account of the situation, it should have been made clear to visitors to the page that the original account had been misleading. Upheld

Further action

A note has been added to the revised article to make clear that the original version had been at fault in reporting the claim of anti-Semitic abuse uncritically. News Online staff have been reminded of the importance of adhering to the guidelines on handling corrections to online material.