The Sun “avoided responsibilites” in Church pregnancy story

The Sun was criticised today for its reporting of the pregnancy of singer and TV host Charlotte Church.

In a page two single column, today's paper shows the full text of a Press Complaints Commission adjudication which found that it had tried to "avoid its responsibilities" by reporting the pregnancy as rumour and not fact.

The PCC ruled that the article, printed on 23 February, headlined "Baby rumours for sober Church", broke clause three of the editors' code of conduct (privacy). The commission has recently made it clear that the media should not report pregnancies before the woman has had a 12-week scan, or without her consent.

The paper had argued that it had reported speculation prompted by a "very public change in behaviour when it came to her consumption of alcohol and cigarettes", based on press reports of her heavy drinking and partying in January and in interview in which she admitted wanting children. Church's representative Melton said it was "nonsense" to base the story on a perceived change in behaviour.

But the PCC said The Sun had not provided any evidence to substantiate the speculation and had tried to get around the privacy clause of the code by presenting the story as rumour.


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