Archive for the ‘2008’ tag

The Bishop of Norwich and other corrections 2008

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Craig Silverman, whose website – RegrettheError – reports on corrections, retractions and clarifications from news outlets around the world, has published his excellent ‘Year in Media Errors and Corrections 2008‘.

It’s well worth reading them in full, but here’s a selection of British ones:

From the Daily Star:

Our article last Tuesday headed “It’s Sven Giggle Eriksson” pictured Mr Eriksson in a hotel restaurant with a young lady. We wrongly assumed that the lady was an admirer and suggested that he was fondling her. In fact the lady was Lina, Mr Eriksson’s daughter, with whom he was having a normal fatherly embrace. We apologise to Mr Eriksson and his daughter for the embarrassment and distress caused by the publication of the photographs and incorrect assumptions made about them.


From The Sun:

An article on March 29, “Everyone off my bus, I need to pray”, stated that Arunas Raulynaitis, a London bus driver and a Muslim, asked passengers to leave his bus so he could pray and that passengers later refused to re-board the bus because they saw a ruck-sack which made them think he might be a fanatic. The article included pictures of Mr Raulynaitis praying. We now accept that these allegations were completely untrue. Mr Raulynaitis is not a fanatic and he did not ask passengers to leave his bus to allow him to pray. In fact, he was praying during his statutory rest break. We apologise to Mr Raulynaitis for the embarrassment and distress caused.

From The Times:

We may owe an apology to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Last month we dubbed it “Whitehall’s answer to Sir Elton John” after it emerged that it had spent £ 46,000 on pot plants in two years. Now we learn that staff at the Department for Children, Schools and Families spent £ 78,000 on pot plants in a single year. The crown, thus, is theirs.

From the Guardian:

Gore Vidal was once head-butted by Norman Mailer, not the other way round. Vidal described the altercation as “marshmallow to marshmallow” when asked about it at the Hay festival 2008 (Diary, page 9, G2, May 27).

From the Daily Mail:

In articles published on 23 and 26 May 2008, we gave the impression that Mr Gest had contracted a sexually transmitted infection and alleged that he had Liza Minnelli’s dog killed without her knowledge. This was wrong. David Gest has never had a sexually transmitted infection and did not have Ms Minnelli’s dog killed. We apologise to Mr Gest for any embarrassment caused.

From Press Gazette:

The Eastern Daily Press has apologised after confusing the Bishop of Norwich with serial killer Steve Wright, known as the “Suffolk strangler”. The paper printed a letter from Rupert Read of the Eastern Region Green Party calling for brothels to be closed following the Ipswich murders saying: “Surely that is the best memorial to the women who died at the hands of Steve Wright (pictured).” But the EDP printed a picture of the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Rev Graham James, with his dog collar clearly visible, instead of Wright. The paper has printed an apology and has agreed to make a donation to a Christian group that helps prostitutes of which the Bishop is a patron.

All credit to Regret the Error

Written by Martin Moore

December 19th, 2008 at 4:44 pm

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Facebook becomes a source of US election news

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The good old Pew Center has conducted a fascinating study into how Americans are getting their news about the US election.

The big finding is, once again, that the internet continues to grow as a source of campaign news – and at the same time traditional media continues to decline (though it needs to be noted that traditional sources are not declining as quickly as the internet is rising). 24% of Americans now regularly get news about the election online – and this rises to 42% of 18-29 year olds.

But within the big picture some of the detailed figures are astonishing. The survey finds that more than a quarter of 18-29 year olds (27%) use social networking sites to get information about the campaign (and 37% of 18-24 year olds).

Information, what information? I realise I’m a social networking neanderthal (having scribbled on none of my Facebook friends’ walls and joined only 2 groups) but the news information I get via Facebook is along the lines of ‘Alison prefers friday nights to monday nights’ or ‘Sarah says she has a crush on an octogenarian DJ’. You can go out and find information about the campaign (see Barack Obama’s ‘Notes’ for example’) and receive news from groups, but in the first case this is hardly impartial and in the second pre-filtered.

This finding can’t help but fuel the concerns of those who think people will become increasingly deaf to any information that might quaintly be called ‘public interest’, prefering to find stuff themselves (however unbalanced) or hear it from their peers.

On a brighter note, the survey suggests serendipity is not dead. 52% of web users said ‘they “come across” campaign news and information when they are going online to do something else’. I guess this is a little like channel surfing late at night, stumbling upon ‘This Week’ and getting stuck listening to Michael Portillo arguing with Dianne Abbot.

And the report also finds that people go to a remarkable range of websites for campaign news. ‘For every person getting campaign news from a site like MSNBC or CNN,’ Pew says, ‘there is a person getting campaign news from a website that targets a far smaller audience’ – most of these being niche internet news websites.

At this rate it looks as though the internet should surpass traditional media as the main source of election news for young people in 2012. Although what ‘news’ they’ll get from it is far from clear.

At least there will always be a hard core of young people interested in politics. An impressive 8% of enthusiastic 18-29 year olds signed up as a ‘friend of the candidate’ – future campaign co-ordinators perhaps?

Written by Martin Moore

January 15th, 2008 at 12:40 pm

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