Police drop ITV complaint

Avon & Somerset police will not report ITN’s ITV News to Ofcom over its reports that were broadcast. The reports were described as ‘unfair and naive’

The Media Guardian is today reporting that Top-level meetings between ITV News and the police resolved the dispute, which resulted in the broadcaster being temporarily banned from its press conferences on the Bristol murder earlier this week.

Earlier this week, we reported that ITN reporters were banned over a News at Ten report that was filed by Geraint Vincent. The ban was then lifted later the day on Wednesday following a report on the ITV news at 1:30 that the police considered to be “accurate and counterbalanced”.

An ITV spokesperson said that it had made a “careful note” of the police’s concerns, after a high-level meeting between David Mannion, ITV News editor-in-chief, and the chief constable Colin Port. The broadcaster was not party to any agreement to run favourable reports to retain access to press briefings.

“ITV News has made careful note of the concerns raised by the chief constable. The chief constable has made it clear that ITV News is welcome to attend future force press conferences,” a joint-statement said.

“Both parties now regard the matter as closed and will not be making any further comment. The complaint made by Avon & Somerset police to Ofcom is no longer being pursued.”

The friction between the broadcaster and the force arose from an ITV News report which claimed that the police were no closer to finding 25-year-old Yeates’s killer 10 days after her body was found.

Updated: Friday 7 January 2011
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