Saturday, 1 January 2011

Sun admits Al-Qaeda didn't threaten Coronation Street

The Sun has acknowledged that its front page splash of 9 December about an 'Al-Qaeda threat' to Coronation Street was rubbish:

Further to our article about increased security at Coronation Street's studios for their live 50th anniversary episode (December 9), we would like to make clear that while cast and crew were subject to full body searches, there was no specific threat from Al-Qaeda as we reported. We apologise for the misunderstanding and are happy to set the record straight.

Their admission that the story was nonsense is hardly a surprise - the story never rang true and was swiftly denied by Greater Manchester Police.

The PCC, when tweeting about the clarification, pointed out the apology was on 'page 2 and online'. Yet the original was rather more prominent than that:

The first clause of the Code of Practice points out that errors must be corrected with 'due prominence'. Yet the Code Committee Secretary, Ian Beales, said at the start of December that it was a 'myth' to say corrections are buried.

But is it really good enough for a front page splash to be 'clarified' by a couple of sentences on page two?

(The Sun's original article has won 5CC's Tabloid Bullshit of the Month Award for December 2010)


  1. Ha! Ian Beales!

  2. I knew it was false just by the way it was laid out it was false i'm pretty sure most people knew as well

  3. Made it across the pond to the "Huffington Post"

  4. "the apology was on 'page 2 and online'. Yet the original was rather more prominent than that"

    To be fair, a newspaper is still a business, and putting "Sorry we were wrong" on the front page isn't exactly going to attract any casual readers is it? Beyond that, we should be happy its not on the 34th page in between a load of adverts for comparison websites.

  5. Anonymous (00:21) - Indeed they are. But consider how many extra readers may have bought newspapers after being taken in by an incorrect original headline.

    I didn't say they should admit they were wrong as their main headline, but I don't see any reason why they couldn't have found space for that apology on the front page.

    The PCC is constantly telling us apologies aren't buried and that they appear on the same page or earlier compared to the original. Yet this almost never happens with front page errors. I think 'same page or earlier' should be set in stone by the Code.

  6. A newspaper may belong to a business but the paper itself should put truth, integrity and respect before any profits otherwise it's just taking its readers for a ride.

    I know some may disagree but if paper XYZ prints a lie on it's front page in massive letters then they should follow up with a retraction on the front page in massive letters.

    It'd make them think a bit more before going to print, especially if there was a finanical penalty involved in such bad journalism.


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