JULIE FOGARTY AGAINST NORTH & SOUTH

Case Number: 2682

Council Meeting: JULY 2018

Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed

Publication: North & South

Ruling Categories: Columnists
Misleading

Overview

CASE NO: 2682

RULING ON THE COMPLAINT OF JULIE FOGARTY AGAINST NORTH & SOUTH

FINDING: NO GROUNDS TO PROCEED

DATE: JULY 2018

Julie Fogarty complained that an editorial Sour milk: How a story on breast-feeding brought out the bulliespublished in the April issue of North & South misled readers because it left out material facts which Ms Fogarty had advised the editor of in previous correspondence.

North & South had previously published an article Breast feeding– why is it such a battle ground in the February issue of the magazine. This editorial commented on the fall-out received after publication and, in particular, the online and social media comments received by one of the story subjects.

Julie Fogarty had complained to the Media Council about the February article.Her complaint was not upheld.

In response to Ms Fogarty’s complaint about the April editorial the editor noted that this was an editorial piece spurred on by the attack a party experienced after the February article. A large part of the editorial discussed the use social media to attack individuals over other topics such as 1080 and Feline Rights.

The editor noted that Ms Fogarty introduced matters that, while related to infant feeding, were not even mentioned in the editorial.

The Media Council has studied the large volume of material sent by Ms Fogarty in support of her complaint. The first point it wishes to make is that this was an opinion piece and that journalistic principles of fairness and balance do not apply to opinion pieces.The editor had free rein to express her opinion, and was not obliged to include any opposing view, even if it had been offered to her.

The second point is that the Council has considered the additional material Ms Fogarty sought to introduce and sees it as only marginally relevant to the April editorial. Ms Fogarty’s complaint is effectively an attempt to re-litigate the unsuccessful complaint about the February article.

Ruling: No Grounds to Proceed