The UK Press Complaints Commission upheld a complaint about the Daily Mirror’s January 4 story for identifying the complainant’s minor-aged child without her consent, according to a report on the PCC’s website.
The report in question was “a feature on Gary Dobson and David Norris, who had recently been convicted of the murder of Stephen Lawrence,” according to the PCC. The complainant, the child’s mother and a “former partner” of Dobson, explained that because of the Daily Mirror’s article, her son was “bullied.”
While the newspaper defended its report and the identification of the child because he could be found on the complainant’s Facebook, the Mirror took the child’s name out of its online version of the story and said that going forward the Mirror ‘would not name him again in connection with the story” without the family’s consent, the PCC reported.
The PCC’s Editors’ Code of Practice features a section on reporting on children. Journalists are advised against publishing interviews or pictures of anyone younger than 16 without parental approval. Further, “editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent of guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.”