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Russian complaint against AP to be heard by media council

NEW YORK (AP) — The Associated Press has agreed to accept the jurisdiction of Russia’s press council in a dispute between the news agency and the head of the country’s elections commission.

The dispute stems from an Aug. 29 story by a Moscow correspondent based largely on an interview with elections commission chairwoman Ella Pamfilova.

After the story was published, Pamfilova complained that there were inaccuracies in the story and that AP did not issue video or a transcript of the entire hour-long interview.

Following the complaint, AP issued a clarification of the story, but the elections commission was not satisfied and referred the matter to the Public Council for Press Complaints, a civil society body for media self-regulation.

The council said it would consider the complaint on Sept. 26 and asked AP if the agency accepted its jurisdiction. The AP has agreed and will send a representative to the hearing.

“The Associated Press stands by the reporting of correspondent Nataliya Vasilyeva,” agency spokeswoman Lauren Easton said in a statement. “After her story was published, AP listened to concerns from representatives from the Central Election Commission and agreed to issue a clarification to add details about why some independent candidates running for the city legislature in Moscow had been excluded.

“At no time did AP indicate it would publish the video interview with the head of the CEC in its entirety, or publish a transcript,” she said. “AP intends to comply with a request from the Public Council for Press Complaints to work with them as a result of further complaints from the CEC and looks forward to a resolution.”

The press council is a civil body for media self-regulation and dispute resolution.

The lawyer whom AP is consulting says its decisions are non-binding.

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