Saturday, 23rd September 2017
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Press Ombudsman

Question

I want to complain about an article that was in a national newspaper recently. How can I do this?

Answer

The Office of the Press Ombudsman deals with complaints against publications that are members of the Press Council of Ireland. This is done free of charge without having to go to court. You can make a complaint about any article that personally affects you. You can also complain about the behaviour of a journalist. The article or the behaviour must be in breach of the professional standards and behaviours set out in the Code of Practice for Newspapers and Periodicals.

You must first make your complaint to the editor of the newspaper or magazine which published the article, explaining why you think the Code has been breached. If you don’t get a response or you are not happy with the response, you can complain to the Office of the Press Ombudsman within three months of the publication of the article or the behaviour of the journalist. The complaint must be made in writing by email or post and must:

- Show how you are personally affected

- Indicate which parts of the code of practice have beenr breached and why

- Include a dated copy of the article

- Include copies of correspondence between you and the editor

The Office will first seek to have your complaint resolved through conciliation and/or mediation. This usually takes four to six weeks. If the matter is referred to the Press Ombudsman for a decision, it may take a further two weeks.

If the decision is in your favour, the newspaper or magazine must publish the decision unless it is appealed. If you are not happy with the decision, you can appeal to the Press Council of Ireland within two weeks.

You can get detailed information on how to make a complaint to the Press Ombudsman at citizensinformation.ie or from the Office of the Press Ombudsman.

Further information is also available from the Citizens Information Service.

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