Can Ipso apply in countries with strict press regulation– and with none? - 2016-07-24

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F345.png Can Ipso apply in countries with strict press regulation– and with none? July 24, 2016, Peter Preston, The Guardian

T he problem Lord Justice Leveson couldn't begin to solve is coming back to bite the press regulators he left behind. Simply, what happens when you're dealing with a British newspaper's online operation based in America, with American reporters writing about American celebrities for a largely American audience? Otherwise known, in this first headbanger of a case, as "Exclusive: inside the 'bromance' of Tom Cruise and Scientology founder David Miscavige", a Mail Online special that Miscavige took to the Independent Press Standards Organisation and sort of won last week – except that Ipso then set up its own inquiry to try to address the more problematic issues involved.

The "bromance" itself isn't particularly significant. It featured a series of interviews with former Scientologists saying Cruise had had special treatment at the church's Gold Base headquarters. Miscavige pleaded inaccuracies under clause one (facts) and won.

Mail Online hadn't given due weight to Miscavige's denials and had failed to quote a Scientology spokesman's responses. "It had also failed to provide a defence of the accuracy of the article, or its decision not to publish a correction." Why not, pray? The Mail is a huge defender of Ipso. But no: "The story had been written to comply with American law and journalistic conventions, not the British Editors' Code of Practice." So the paper declined to defend its story.


{{cite news | author = Peter Preston | title = Can Ipso apply in countries with strict press regulation– and with none? | url = https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/jul/24/tom-cruise-mail-online-ipso-press-regulation | work = The Guardian | date = July 24, 2016 | accessdate = March 3, 2017 }}