Thursday, 9 December 2010

Mail buries apology to Sophie Dahl

In May, Sophie Dahl launched a libel action against the Daily Mail over an article written on 31 December 2009 by Liz Jones:

A writ filed at the High Court says the Mail’s article suggested Dahl had previously brought personal legal proceedings against the column’s author, Liz Jones, when she was the editor of fashion magazine Marie Claire for "having done nothing more than simply (and accurately) describe her as being ‘realistically curvy’".

The writ says this passage of the article was understood to have meant Dahl had acted “like a petty-minded and overly sensitive prima donna”.

Press Gazette added:

According to the writ, she is seeking aggravated damages, in part, as the paper failed to apologise to her or respond to a letter of complaint.

Today, the Mail has, finally, apologised:

On 31 December 2009 an article by Liz Jones headed 'March of Anorexia Chic' stated she had been sued by Sophie Dahl for describing her as 'realistically curvy' in a magazine. This was incorrect. In fact Ms Dahl had sued for breach of contract in a claim that was settled out of court. We apologise to Ms Dahl.

There is no mention of this apology on the Mail's homepage. Given how prominently the Mail always places links to Jones' columns, this simply looks like yet another example of a newspaper burying an apology.


  1. The Daily Mail have buried an apology? Surely not...

    Only last week, Ian Beales, the Editors' Code Committee secretary, talked about "the myth that newspapers and magazines routinely bury corrections"...

    Would be interesting to see where the apology appears in the print version.

    However, even if it is prominently displayed in print, it doesn't excuse the fact that it isn't displayed with equal prominence online too.

  2. Yep, I too was left thinking about that "myth" he referred to. Perhaps another thing to have a look at...count the libels and prominence of said libel and then look at prominence of apology for the last 6 months or so. Let's see how that "myth" works out.

    Also love the fact it 12 months to apologise. No doubt that wonderful word "timely" will spring up somewhere soon.


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