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Issue Date:- 12 May 2008

The Press Complaints Commission "Pictures of accidents"

THE UK's Press Complaints Commission has made a key ruling on the issue of photographs of accidents that take place in public. It follows a complaint from a man whose elderly mother-in-law had been injured in a car crash, and was photographed receiving treatment.  The Wiltshire Gazette & Herald published an image online, shortly after the accident, when family members may have been in a state of shock.  

The image in question showed the complainant’s facial features as she received emergency treatment. On the next day it published a different image, in which her features were entirely obscured.

In its ruling, the Commission said that there was:- “a clear need for newspapers to exercise caution when publishing images that relate to a person’s health and medical treatment, even if they are taken in public places”.

The Commission accepted that:- “large-scale events such as terrorist attacks and natural disasters involve a degree of public interest so great that it may be proportionate and appropriate to show images of their aftermath without the consent of those involved”.

However, there was insufficient public interest in a more routine incident such as a car crash to override the rights to privacy of the victim by publishing a picture of her face and showing her receiving treatment.

The online publication of the image, therefore, raised a breach of Clause 3 (Privacy) and 5 (Intrusion into grief or shock) of the Code.

The Commission ruled that the newspaper’s response, it had apologised privately, promptly withdrawn the offending photograph from the website, published the family’s criticisms of the paper and published an apology, was sufficient to remedy the breach.

It did not consider that the article published in the paper edition, in which the victim was not seen receiving treatment, raised a breach of the Code.

For details of the adjudication, please click here.

Art in the city

TO mark Liverpool's reign as the 2008 Capital of Culture, LJMU will be showcasing the work of its talented art and design students in venues across the city. During May and June, you will be able see the work of hundreds of up and coming artists in venues ranging from cafes to car parks.   The eagerly anticipated annual Final Year Degree Shows are a great place to spot emerging artistic talent and visitors will be spoilt for choice with exhibits ranging from illustration, fashion and textiles to architecture and fine art.   Martin Downie, Director of the School of Art and Design, said:- "We are taking the art school out of the University and onto the streets of Liverpool as part of the capital of culture celebrations. Some great reputations have been launched at these shows in the past and this year visitors will be treated to some of the best new work in the region. These shows are a taster of what people can expect when we move into our new Art and Design Academy later this year. From drinking a cup of coffee in the café to looking emerging and more established artists, we want the Academy to be located right in the heart of Liverpool's creative and cultural life."

The Degree Shows will showcase work by students in:-

* Architecture, Interior Design and Product Design on Friday 16 May to Sunday 18 May 2008, LJMU (Clarence Street).

* Fashion:- Two catwalk shows will be held on Tuesday, 20 May 2008, starting at 5pm and 8.00pm in the Grey Space, West Africa House (25 Water Street, Liverpool L2 0RG).

* Graphic Arts:- Friday 16 May 2008 to Wednesday 21 May 2008, Leaf Gallery, Static (23 Roscoe Street Liverpool L1 9JD).

* Textiles:- Monday 23 May 2008 to Thursday 26 May 2008, Leaf Gallery, Static (23 Roscoe Street Liverpool L1 9JD).

* Fine Art:- Thursday 19 June to Thursday 26 June 2008. The Fine Art Degree Shows will be held at a variety of locations across the city: Arena House (Duke Street), Duke Street Car Park (near Arena), top floor & basement of the Mello Mello Café Bar (corner of Bold Street/Slater Street), Tito's (Bold Street), International Gallery (Slater Street), Wolstenholme Building (opposite Cream).

The Degree Shows represent the culmination of three years of learning, research and development by LJMU art and design students, and are expected to attract thousands of visitors, including professional artists, designers, potential future employers and supporters from the creative industries.

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