Monday, 31 October 2011

Five months on, Mail corrects front page splash

On Friday 27 May, the Daily Mail claimed the 'UK doles out more aid than any other country'. They were so sure of this 'fact' they put it on the front page:

At the time, Full Fact questioned the accuracy of this claim:

While the UK is the most generous G8 economy in international aid relative to GNI, it does not give the most aid of any country in the world, neither relative to GNI or in absolute terms.

And today, in a two-sentence correction at the bottom of page two, the Mail admits:

A front-page article on 27 May said that Britain spends more on aid as a percentage of national income than any other country in the world. In fact it spends more than any other G8 country as a percentage of GDP and is second in the world behind the US in cash terms.

Despite the Mail's headline and article being shown to be untrue by Full Fact on the day it was published, it has taken the paper five months to admit it got it wrong.

UPDATE: The Mail's correction was the result of a complaint from Full Fact. Their description of the process makes for very interesting reading, particularly the attempt by the Mail to unilaterally publish a correction two days before the PCC was to adjudicate. Despite the PCC saying the original article was 'sloppy' and contained a 'significant inaccuracy' they did not agree with Full Fact that a front page correction was necessary.


  1. I don't know what's worse: getting the facts wrong, taking months to admit they got the facts wrong, or the implication that being generous in terms of international aid is a *bad* thing...

  2. Interesting how they use the grudging "doles out" in the headline instead of simply using the non-value-laden word "gives"...

  3. Five months surely from 27 May to 31 October? Anyway, I see they've buried the correction in the paper yonks after the desired manipulated outrage AGAIN.

  4. Anonymous 22:01 - Quite right. Not sure what happened there. Now corrected.


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