Newsnight, BBC2, 23 May 2012 – Finding by the Editorial Complaints Unit

Complaint

Shanene Thorpe, who was interviewed for an item in the programme, complained that the item had given an unfair, inaccurate and misleading impression of her and asked for a broadcast correction and apology.

 

Outcome

Having investigated Ms Thorpe’s concerns, the ECU concluded that the nature and degree of unfairness to her called for a broadcast apology and correction, in addition to the online apology already posted by the Editor of Newsnight which had itself followed a personal apology from him to Ms Thorpe.

Upheld

 

Further action

The following correction and apology was broadcast in the 30 August edition of Newsnight:

 

And now for an apology.  On 23 May during an item on welfare reform we broadcast an interview with Shanene Thorpe that unfairly created the mistaken impression that she was unemployed and wholly dependent on benefits, and suggested that she was living off the state as a lifestyle choice.  She has asked us to make clear that she has been in work or in work-related education since leaving school. Shortly after the programme, we published an apology on our website for the unmerited embarrassment and any distress the item caused her.  We are happy to make this broadcast apology as well.

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