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The Sun has invaded Fraser Brown's privacy again - please complain to the PCC

(50 Posts)
theBurd Wed 13-Jul-11 21:14:34

Some of us are unhappy that the Sun not only breached Gordon Brown's privacy in 2006 when publishing details of his medical condition, but have done so a second time when repeating the story to rebut Gordon Brown's allegations.

It is supremely ironic that the Sun has provided anonymity to protect the identity of the person purporting to have passed information about Fraser Brown, who was then four months old, but did not respect his.

If you agree that it is unacceptable for a newspaper to intrude on a child's privacy in such a manner please complain to the PCC. The relevant clauses that have been breached are clause 3 (i) respect for private life and health and clause 6 (v) Editors must not use the fame, notoriety or position of a parent or guardian as sole justification for publishing details of a child’s private life.

The PCC usually only investigates complaints if you have a direct relationship with the story but I would contend that we all have a responsibility to protect children - imagine if someone did that to your child, published intimate details of his or her medical condition on the front page of a newspaper.

And if you want to read more of my opinion about this issue please go to this blog article - I'm not a journalist, not paid, just a citizen blogger. www.heraldscotland.com/bloggers/kate-higgins/the-sun-should-stop-fighting-over-little-fraser-brown-1.1111873

Thank you.

Greythorne Wed 13-Jul-11 21:17:37

FFS
They are appalling.

I deplore what they do / have done. And I have a FB friend who is defending The Sun / NOTW saying it is all good fun, cheeky irreverance. And this friend has children.

The mind boggles.

OpusProSerenus Wed 13-Jul-11 21:18:16

Couldn't agree with you more in principle although I suspect the PCC will not be remotely interested in the views of those unconnected to the family.

theBurd Wed 13-Jul-11 21:22:00

OpusProSerenus, I suspect you might be right but if a good number of people complain then it makes it more difficult for them to refuse no?

And if they do reject the complaints, then they will have shown just how useless self-regulation is.

Finally I'm not sure anyone in the press is calling the shots anymore - we are!

Please do find a moment to complain, it only takes five minutes to do. http://www.pcc.org.uk/complaints/makingacomplaint.html

Nancy66 Wed 13-Jul-11 22:55:15

the story was already out there - and had been widely picked up by other media, even talked about my the PM - so the second publication is not a breach

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Jul-11 08:38:53

The story was broken using traditional & legitimate journalist methods i.e making use of information from someone who knew the Browns and had a child with the same condition. It's a risk public figures take that information about their children will end up in the headlines. Doubtless it was distressing for the Browns and we can question the good taste of publishing. However, on the test of 'public interest' it could be argued that we need to know with our PMs and other leaders that their mind is fully on the job... and understand if they appear distracted, why that might be

slug Thu 14-Jul-11 09:29:22

In what way is publising the private medical details of anyone much less a child in the "public interest"???

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 14-Jul-11 09:32:54

it could be argued that we need to know with our PMs and other leaders that their mind is fully on the job

Are you a journalist, Cogito? I can think of no other reason why you would provide such an appalling rationale.

sprogger Thu 14-Jul-11 09:36:08

It's hateful. I think the "informant" should be named so s/he can explain to the world just exactly why the world needed to know about Fraser Brown's illness before the parents were ready to talk about it.

Let's be clear, NI has never felt the world needed to know about how they were working with bent coppers to get scoops, but they do feel we need to know about a 4-month-old's illness because of who his father is. "Warped" doesn't even begin to cover it.

limitedperiodonly Thu 14-Jul-11 11:23:13

Does anyone believe a word of The Sun's explanation?

Swedes2 Thu 14-Jul-11 11:42:44

Does anyone believe a word that comes out of Brown's mouth?

Callisto Thu 14-Jul-11 12:31:09

Well Brown himself didn't seem too bothered at the time and did pleny of sucking up to Murdoch, Brooks and everyone else at News Int afterwards. I found his hypocrisy about this quite sickening. Playing the desperately hurt father 10 years after the fact when at the time he was perfectly happy to be heavily involved in the whole Murdoch coterie.

As for complaining to the PCC on his behalf, what a bizarre thing to do.

limitedperiodonly Thu 14-Jul-11 12:47:48

I find it very difficult to believe without question what anyone at NI claims atm given that stealing medical records is a serious offence and Rebekah Brooks would be jailed if found guilty of it.

She could have come by the information legitimately but I think it's worth looking into given recent revelations.

I'm not a fan of Gordon Brown's and I don't subscribe to the view that if it's in The Sun it must be lies.

However, I found the calls for him to sit down (and shut up) in the Commons disgraceful. Similarly the comments in many of today's papers.

If Bob Dowler addressed the Commons in the same vein would Government MPs and members of the right wing press dare to tell him to shut up and stop spoiling the tone of the debate?

Callisto Thu 14-Jul-11 12:54:00

Brown has been conspicuous by his absence in the Commons since he lost the election. Suddenly up he pops the moment there is a chance to win some sympathy/limelight for himself. Is his book coming out soon or something?

limitedperiodonly Thu 14-Jul-11 13:14:34

callisto I don't care what his motives are. I don't care if he's been sulking since he lost the election.

Maybe he has got a book coming out but I'd put my money on revenge and I don't blame him.

I don't find it necessarily strange that he didn't react angrily at the time and treated Brooks as a friend. I'm a journalist. I've never stolen anyone's records but I've certainly rung people when an intimate story about them was about to break and said they'd be better off talking to me because I'm their mate and would handle it more sensitively than other journalists.

People in shock tend to trust a friendly voice.

Neither do I find it strange that he didn't suspect at the time that anyone unauthorised had read his son's medical records. It's perfectly possible that he found out later and bided his time.

Swedes2 Thu 14-Jul-11 14:13:25

Maybe it was Sue's fault?

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 14-Jul-11 15:10:17

I blame Nick, Swedes

EvenLessNarkyPuffin Thu 14-Jul-11 15:22:18

He was told to keep his mouth shut at the time. No-one could afford to piss off NI. Now the tide has turned he can speak about it. I don't like him, his politics or the way he ran his cabinet. I don't think anyone could think that that the Sun/ NOTW/ NI are not capable of this. The fact that they have publishedit twice should give people a small hint on who to believe?????

The PCC are completely and utterly toothless.

smallwhitecat Thu 14-Jul-11 15:46:11

Message withdrawn

BitOfFun Thu 14-Jul-11 15:48:29

The PCC will do sweet FA if you are not an immediate family member or directly damaged yourself by the story. Pointless to engage with them.

smallwhitecat Thu 14-Jul-11 15:50:05

Message withdrawn

limitedperiodonly Thu 14-Jul-11 15:55:03

Brown should have brought it up at the time. But how does that mean he's not allowed to bring it up now?

And is it okay to invade the privacy of a child if we don't like his dad very much?

arazmataz Thu 14-Jul-11 15:58:40

Apparently loads of tabloid journalists were invited to Jennifer's funeral.

shock

limitedperiodonly Thu 14-Jul-11 16:02:57

araz And? That could have been the Browns using the occasion of their daughter's death to suck up to journalists.

It could also be that they felt touched by the universal outpouring of sympathy towards their grief across Fleet Street.

They've certainly learned their lesson now though. Which is the main thing.

smallwhitecat Thu 14-Jul-11 16:05:25

Message withdrawn

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