IPSO rejects complaint from parent over pictures taken at nursery by Norfolk weekly

A North Norfolk News front page

A parent’s complaint that her children were photographed by a newspaper at a community event without her permissio has been rejected by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

The press regulator ruled that North Norfolk News had been invited by a nursery to take pictures of its children in super hero costumes for a story in the paper and so had the necessary permission.

The article, titled “Children enjoy super end to the school holidays”, and pictures were subsequently published in the Archant-owned title on 25 February 2016.

The mother said she was unaware her two children had been photographed at the event, despite accompanying them, and had not given consent for the image to be published.

Her complaint was lodged under article 6 (children) of the Editor’s Code of Conduct.

She also said a print of the photograph had been sold to an “estranged relative” of hers following publication and that it was “unacceptable” for the newspaper to sell prints of young children to the general public “without any checks being undertaken”.

The newspaper said Norfolk county Council has a policy which ensures children with “safeguarding issues” are not photographed at any event with media coverage and that it had not been alerted to any children who should not be photographed in line with this policy.

It added that families “often wanted to buy photographs that had been published in newspapers” and said it “could not remember a situation where this had been problematic in the past”.

IPSO’s Complaints Committee said the incident “did not concern an issue involving the children’s welfare, or intrude into their time at school”.

It added: “The photograph of the children was taken at a public venue; they were not engaged in any private activity, and in this particular set of circumstances, they did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. There was no breach of the Code.”

Regarding the sale of the print, IPSO said it was a commercial transaction outside of the newspapers publication of editorial content and so did not fall within its remit.

Paid-for weekly the North Norfolk News has a total average circulation of 5,416 copies, according to the latest ABC figures.

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