The Daily Mail admits to making “honest mistakes” thus:
“The average issue of the Daily Mail contains around 80,000 words – the equivalent of a paperback book – most of which are written on the day under tremendous pressure of deadlines.
Huge efforts are made to ensure our journalism meets the highest possible standards of accuracy but it is inevitable that mistakes do occur.
This column provides an opportunity to correct those errors quickly and prominently.”
(Excuse the massed mocking laughter you may hear in the background – that will be the Mail Journalists laughing at their own joke)
In the online version, this is of course sited, (as are all main articles), alongside the 70 pieces on boobs, cheating home wreckers, approved celebrities doing nothing, and assorted other “Femail” picture-led puff or slush pieces designed to take feminism back to the 19th century.
Much as seen in this take from today to the right ->
(note that one bit of the bitchy gossip is owned by Jan Moir, a crapmeister non journalist that really should be blown sky high)
Like many papers it prints these corrections in an unobtrusive and almost unread section of the newspaper, having ensured the public saw the lie as a huge leading headline.
Unlike most papers it also lies, cheats and steals shamelessly, often refusing to alter or “correct” its pernicious lying despite being shown the evidence that proves the point.
Why should I, as someone who has long since dismissed the Mail as unreadable moaning trash, be concerned about this?
Because with the Mail being believed by more readers than any other paper, we all should care.
This week has seen the end of the Leveson enquiry and the acquittal at appeal of the “Robin Hood twitter joker”, Paul Chambers, after long legal battle, the loss of his job and 2 years of complete establishment idiocy.
Leveson hinted that he is disinclined to go down the route of full legal regulation of the press, believing I think, that we need a sure way of keeping the government from having a handle on limiting the investigative powers of the press.
But what is the press?
Paul Chambers is part of the press – as am I – as a user of twitter.
So when a jokey Twitter user who uses his real name and photo gets put through the courts and loses his job for making a weak joke about blowing up Robin Hood Airport if they do not get their act together – one wonders why the courts do not pursue the many Mail Journalists, with no bylines, who tell the world that we are under threat from illegal immigrants flooding onto the Eurostar, and refuse to make it clear that “this is just a Daily Mail lie”?
There is a pride in the professional rules of journalism that supports the established respect for the Broadsheets as “The Fourth Estate”. Unlike the pamphleteering nature of Twitter and other social media, this is about checking that sources are telling the truth, and publishing that truth as news and, separately, opinion, clearly denoted as being such. No such tolerance and respect should apply to the tabloids that have been slipping further back into their lying, conniving, ways even whilst the Leveson enquiry was still under way and slamming into their perennial immoral practices.
A new and more robust Press Complaints commission seems likely to be the focus of the Leveson report on press practice – perhaps he should also have a word to say about the establishment’s pathetic pursuit of an innocent “pamphleteer” where the Director of Public Prosecutions, now in full possession of all the facts and arguments, STILL pursued a legal fight against the appeal so sensibly won today. I somehow doubt he will – though its relevance to the nature of the police practice in relation to the press is entirely relevant seeing as the South Yorkshire police were directly responsible for causing this farce to get started.
Freedom of the press needs to be protected by law,
immoral practices of the Tabloids need to be proscribed by it.
The police need to be made aware of the need to abide by it.