Dr Shires vs The Star

Dear Dr Shires

Your complaint about the retraction and apology that The Star published on 10 May 2013 refers.

You complain that the retraction was not published prominently enough, and that the headline should have said something like the following: “Two dedicated Baragwanath doctors falsely maligned”.

Here are my considerations:

·         The issue about the offending story never came to this office, which means that I could not have decided how prominent the retraction/apology and its headline should have been;

·         When The Star publishes a correction, retraction or apology on its own (without this office), it has a traditional space and headline size for it. This is in line with journalistic practice not only nationally, but also internationally;

·         The text of the retraction is sufficient, as it speaks to the heart of the problem that the story created; and

·         While I can understand that you wanted the text to have been published more prominently, given the observations above I am not going to ask the newspaper to retract and apologise again.

Our Complaints Procedures lay down that within seven days of receipt of this decision, either party may apply for leave to appeal to the Chairperson of the SA Press Adjudication Panel, Judge Bernard Ngoepe, fully setting out the grounds of appeal. He can be contacted at Khanyim@ombudsman.org.za.