Secret swinger pictures didn't break Code

Journalists have been cleared of breaching the Editors’ Code after taking secret pictures at a swingers club.

Neil
Nash, owner of Liberty Hotel in Lutterworth, complained to the Press
Complaints Commission that journalists from the News of the World had
breached Clause 10 of the Code (subterfuge).

Nash occasionally
hosts a members-only club for swingers called Liberation and two
journalists from the NoW joined it to take undercover photographs.

Nash
said there was nothing at the club to expose in the public interest –
activities there were entirely legal and he said subterfuge was
unnecessary because the club had welcomed journalists openly in the
past.

The PCC cleared the NoW of wrongdoing saying: “The
complainants were operating a controversial club, and had sought and
obtained a large amount of publicity in order to put one positive view
of it into the public domain.

“It was not for the Commission to interfere with a newspaper’s right to test whether or not this view was accurate.

“To conclude otherwise would arguably be to grant organisations the right to control media coverage on their own terms.”

The Commission did not consider the matter under privacy rules because none of the people photographed wished to complain.

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