Complaint Case Ruling: BCB vs Royal Gazette - December 22, 2011 PDF Print Email

December 22, 2011

To all media:

Please note the following decision of the Media Council of Bermuda which will be posted on the Council’s website.

Complainant name: Bermuda Cricket Board
Clauses Noted: 
3
Publication: The Royal Gazette


Complaint

The Media Council of Bermuda received a complaint by the Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB) against The Royal Gazette.  At issue were a series of three articles, starting with one published on November 10, 2011 headlined “ICC status under threat”. The BCB asserted that claims made about Bermuda’s status as an Associate Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) were inaccurate and misleading and thus in breach of Clause 3 A, B and C of the Code of Practice.


Background

The November 10th article claimed Bermuda’s ICC status could be under threat because the BCB had failed to meet two criteria, the first related to the number of staff and the second related to the number of qualifying teams.

The Nov 16th article headlined “No concerns with Bermuda’s status, says ICC boss Vieira” set out the official position of the ICC and included comments from the BCB and Stephen West, the Evening Cricket League organiser, that were highly critical of the first story.

On November 17, The Royal Gazette published a clarification that conceded the BCB had met the staffing criteria alongside a story headed “Questions remain over BCB’s team claims”.

On December 9, The Royal Gazette issued a correction, which the BCB said fell short of an apology, which it believed was warranted.


Adjudication

The Council held that the headline in the first story was inaccurate and misleading. Bermuda’s ICC status was never under threat. The Royal Gazette’s assertion about the staffing criteria was not correct and its claim that the BCB had failed to meet the requirement as to the number of teams was not clear.

The Royal Gazette said in the article of 10th November that the BCB ignored its request for a response on the question of staffing. The Council is not satisfied that the BCB was given sufficient time to respond to the newspaper’s queries on that point.

The November 16th article did go some way towards correcting the inaccuracies created in the first article. But it continued to advance the position that Bermuda did not meet the team requirement.

The clarification published the following day failed to address the misleading headline. In the view of the Council, the clarification ought to have been a correction.

On December 9, The Royal Gazette published a correction headlined “Correction: Bermuda’s ICC status”. The Council is of the view that the correction did not sufficiently make amends for the misleading nature of the original article and the confusion created by the subsequent articles.


Decision

The Media Council requires The Royal Gazette to publish an apology to the BCB. The apology should be published within seven days on any day other than a Saturday and should be positioned prominently on The Royal Gazette website and in the top half of the front page of the Sports section in the newspaper, under the headline “Apology to the Bermuda Cricket Board”.

The apology should read: “To the extent that the articles published in The Royal Gazette on November 10, 16 and 17, 2011 created the impression that Bermuda’s ICC associate membership status was under threat, The Royal Gazette apologises to the Bermuda Cricket Board (BCB). The Royal Gazette accepts that those articles contained incorrect assumptions and acknowledges that Bermuda’s ICC status is not in jeopardy. We regret any offence, misunderstanding or embarrassment caused to the BCB."

 
HOME  |   CODE OF PRACTICE  |   COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE  |   MEDIA COUNCIL STRUCTURE  |   COMPLAINTS CASES  |   FAQS  |   ABOUT US  |   CONTACT US
Media Council of Bermuda, Suite 1235, 48 Par-la-Ville Road, Hamilton HM 11, Bermuda • info@mediacouncilofbermuda.org