The Scottish Sun rapped by PCC over Hoy family photographs

THE Scottish Sun newspaper has been rapped by the Press Complaints Commission, for publishing photographs involving the family of Olympic Games multi-medallist, the cyclist, Sir Chris Hoy.

Says the PCC, the newspaper breached the clause in its Editors’ Code of Practice covering intrusion into grief or shock. It followed the publication of photographs from the funeral of Hoy’s uncle.

Mourners had asked the photographer to leave.

The photographs were published in November.

Adds the PCC: “The newspaper apologised for the distress caused to the family but stated that the attendance of Sir Chris made the funeral newsworthy.

“It had sent a freelance reporter and photographer to cover the service, respectfully and at a distance. The photographer had entered the church grounds during the service in order to take shelter under a tree.”

It continues: “The newspaper offered to write a letter of apology to the family and removed the photograph from the online article as a means of trying to resolve the complaint.”

The PCC concluded: “The Commission ruled that the two approaches made by mourners regarding the photographer’s presence were a clear indication that the family was unlikely to welcome the publication of the photographs. In light of this, the decision by the newspaper to publish the image of Sir Chris’ aunt being comforted after the service ‘represented a clear failure to handle publication sensitively’, in breach of Clause 5 of the Code. It said that the presence of a well-known individual at the funeral ‘did not in any way lessen the newspaper’s obligation under Clause 5′, and ruled that the newspaper ought to have recognised that the family’s wishes should be respected at such a difficult time.”