Monday, 3 October 2011

MailOnline makes up events, quotes from Perugia

As Raffaele Sollecito and Amanda Knox were hearing that their appeal against their convictions for the murder of Meredith Kercher had been successful, this article by Nick Pisa appeared on MailOnline:


It is unsurprising, perhaps, that a media outlet would prepare two versions of a story where the result was expected but unknown. Unfortunately for the Mail's website, they posted the wrong one. A cock-up, then.

But half way through the article, there's this:


And later, this:


As the appeal was successful, it's clear none of this happened.

Putting up the wrong article is one thing. But filling it with completely invented reactions and descriptions of events that haven't happened is something else entirely. 

(Hat-tip to Chantelle Osili and all who highlighted this)

80 comments:

  1. Please pardon my language, but what an utter bunch of c**ts run that newspaper.

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  2. Wow. I knew they were shits, but I wouldn't have thought they would go so far as make up quotes and reactions. Just shows the shit they print!

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  3. The Daily Mail should stick to fiction. Its the only thing its good at. Also, it should stop calling itself a newspaper.The Daily Mail should stick to fiction. Its the only thing its good at. Also, it should stop calling itself a newspaper.

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  4. Nice one!

    But the bit that had me laughing out loud was the spelling mistake in the caption on one of the photos (as shown on the copy at http://davesaysthings.com/delicious-cake/dailymail-knox-guilty.png )

    "Media scum: Journalists, photographers and camera crews flooded the court room"

    They said it...

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  5. All covered in our sketch about the Daily Mail.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MxdYZMZ_HU

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  6. I am sure they would have patched up any inaccuracies - but in reality, people are pretty predictable...

    Just like you posting this and some people pretending to be offended by it...

    Yawn... ho hum... you PC' lot have had your day... blair/brown showed that your eccentric little approach to life was bonkers and unsustainable - grow up or be yesterdays people.

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  7. This should be punishable by law.

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  8. Am I the only one to notice that he font in the screen cap doesn't actually match the font used on the Daily Fail website...?

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Thing is, they must have known that everyone would realise the quotes were made up - they're not that stupid - so presumably those bits were just filler to be replaced with the real ones when they were actually said. Still a mistake of huge proportions, and still an utterly deplorable newspaper, but I don't think you've got this quite right.

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  11. Ridiculous mistake for 'professional' journalists to make! It's like a bunch of amateurs producing a naff piece of creative writing, which is pretty horrific considering the enormity of the subject matter. However, the fact that they were fully prepared for a 'guilty' verdict, speaks volumes....imho!

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  12. I was just trying to work out what possibly could have possessed a paper even as horrible as the Mail to put made-up quotes in this story and was just wondering - is it possible these quotes were fed to the media by the prosecution for use in the case that the appeal failed? Is that sort of thing likely to have happened, or are we definitely just looking at them fabricating quotes in the name of getting as many words as possible out the second the verdict came through?

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  13. It is the same font, just a different size.

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  14. And did that story already get 500+ likes?

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  15. Paul Perrin:
    What are you even talking about? What does the appeal of an American student in Italy have to do with British politics? The Empire is dead, you know. Not everything has to do with the UK.

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  16. I've been a fan of this blog for some time now and this has literally stunned me. I thought I'd seen it all.

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  17. to be fair, if they were getting their info from SkyNews, then for a good 2 minutes, they were showing the on screen banner stating that Knox had lost her appeal, when actually she was only guilty of libel...

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  18. @Paul Perrin. Yeah it's all the fault of Labour that a right-wing, national newspaper makes the news up before it's actually happened. And the BBC really ARE trying to take over the world. And tin-foil hats are more expensive nowadays......

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  19. Come on what so you expect its the daily mail they have and always will be like that I like to read the daily mail but only to get a giggle out of it.

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  20. @Paul Perrin, this has nothing to do with PC or nu-labour or politics in general other than a distaste many have for the unthinking, reactionary rightism of the Dail Mail reader that you yourself embody so well. People dislike the Mail because it is a bad newspaper tat propagates hate and intolerance and, as shown here, has bad journalistic ethics. I admire you for spouting your ignorances un-anonymously, even putting a photo to yourself out for all to see. But though that is a brave and worthy act you are still ignorant.

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  21. I find it hilarious that there are people out there who are trying to defend the Mail publishing this on their website.

    I read the whole piece which, thankfully, somebody captured before the Mail sent it into the memory hole.

    http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/8510/falseknoxstory02.jpg

    A lot of news organisations were caught out by the translation. I'm not sure why. I was watching the BBC News, and it was very clear that the guilty verdict was for the defamatory part of the case.

    Did Sky have a different translator? Did all the confusion come from a poor translation?

    Either way, it is completely obvious that the Mail had written their story in advance, with huge fabrications which would have gone unchecked had the verdict gone the other way.

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  22. I LOVE IT I've posted this to my facebook too. Thanks for exposing those total idiots

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  23. @Paul Perrin What's it got to do with Britain? You must be a Daily Mail reader. The murder victim was British

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  24. Not convinced. Don't think it unreasonable to write two versions so they were ready to jump with the right one, and then edit it to fit actual events (with real quotes, or getting these quotes agreed etc) at the last minute. Re posting the wrong version, that's just human error, can't avoid it happening sometimes. Hate the D.Mail but don't think this is a worthy vein of attack. Any comments from anyone working in a newsroom?

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  25. I thought everyone knew that most UK papers make everything up.

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  26. Simply no need for journalists to hack phones any longer, just make it all up.

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  27. C'mon folks, all the media do this, the Mail just got caught at it is all. Even the Beeb always has two stories ready for "public interest" cases, though they probably don't go so far as to include "quotes."

    The only paper that is honest about its inventiveness in reporting is the Sunday Sport!

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  28. Sorry Paul. Originally I was shocked and amused that a newspaper would cock things up so royally as to actually print specific fabrications but I now realise that my reaction was all a pretence to satisfy my PC, Labourite leanings. If I weren't so PC I would cheer the Mail for its reporting. News, stuff that didn't happen, what does it matter anyway?

    Now that you've shown me how faultless the Mail's journalism is, I'm so inspired that I will start up my own newspaper straight away. Tomorrow's headline: David Cameron kills and eats a leopard at a children's party.

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  29. Wow, newspaper in completely made-up quotes shocker.

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  30. Christ who gives a toss. As you point out, two articles will have been written, the quote likely already obtained from the prosecution and the facts remain the same - the prisons are 60 miles away and they would have been on suicide watch. The anguish over this is really very, very boring.

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  31. you can see the whole article they posted here
    http://dailymailknoxfail.tumblr.com/

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  32. Curiouser and curiouser: Paul Perrin saying 'I'm sure they would have patched up any inaccuracies' suggests that there might have been some inaccuracies when, obviously, the entire piece is inaccurate, so 'patching up' is hardly a description of the scale of the invention. To add to that the 'PC brigade' and their/our 'eccentric little approach to life', presumably, in this context, being a matter of hoping for a commitment to familiarity with truth in journalism is, to say the least, an odd analysis.

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  33. As much as the daily mail are terrible there was a 'lost in translation' moment with the official court interpreter. She interpreted incorrectly saying she was found guilty , then double-backed. Daily mail, like sky news, jumped on that before correcting it. So this, believe it it not was an honest misinterpretation by the daily mail. As incredible as that may seem...

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  34. Anonymous said... "And did that story already get 500+ likes?"

    No, it won't have got 500+ likes, no. It will have been shared because of the mistake, and every share on Facebook and each comment and like under that share makes up the Facebook 'like' count against a story.

    The like count is really an aggregate count of shares, likes and comments. See: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/share/

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  35. Paul Perrin:
    The point is that they *didn't* patch up any innacuracies before posting.

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  36. Good to see Jeremy Vine tweeting the link to this, bearing in mind the normal vox pops he has on his show who mostly seem to be Fail readers

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  37. Something I also noticed (which has since been corrected) was that even in the second, "Amanda Knox appeal successful" article, it assumed that the bigshot lawyer, Bongiorno, must be a man, calling her "Mr. Bongiorno".

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  38. Moreover, how did the editor let the invented quote contain the phrase 'on a human factor' enter print? It doesn't make sense and certainly wouldn't have been said by a barrister.

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  39. As much as the daily mail are terrible there was a 'lost in translation'

    lol, what, that included all the specific details in the story? just goes to prove the mail should not be allowed to be called a 'news'paper

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  40. I hope they sue the Daily <ail for their lies, The Daily Mail deserve it.

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  41. The email I sent to the editor of the DM Online:

    Editor,

    Since the Daily Mail Online has obviously given up reporting the news in favour of inventing fantasist fiction of the alternate reality kind (Guilty: Amanda Knox looks stunned as appeal against murder conviction is rejected- Nick Pisa 03/10/11) I wonder if your hacks could whip up a little piece about how the recession is over and it's smooth financial sailing ahead now that all the nasty banking and investment executives are safely tucked up behind bars? It's bollocks but it might cheer us all up.

    And we all know how much the DM loves to cheer everybody up and is not at all a fear-mongering, frenzy-inducing, scapegoat-creating pile of budgie cage liner.

    Murdoch must be soooo jealous.

    Regards,
    Sam Gunn

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  42. the daily fail

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  43. I'm sure that so-called journalists had some sort of duty towards the people or their readers at the very least ... that includes NOT making up stuff! And for us it means, of course, NOT reading the DM! Ever!

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  44. The Daily mail would never let something simple like facts get in the way of a story

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  45. It's a simple case of human error.The print and news trade has always been a time sensitive business and to write 2 stories before being fully edited is common practice for all the newspapers on certain events.A journalist would use techniques like this for a rough draft and then re-edit the article before going to print.This could just be a case of the wrong file being sent across by the person or it could've been a computer error?I'm sure there will be an explanation and it will be quickly forgotten.Does anyone know how long the article was actually online for?If it was a matter of minutes then there's been a lot of fuss over nothing.

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  46. OK - I work in a newsroom, have done for the last two decades.

    It's normal practice in ALL newsrooms to prepare alternate versions of a story, particularly where the various outcomes are limited and deadlines are tight. The quotes are likely from an interview conducted just prior to the appeal - again common practice and perfectly ethical - asking the prosecutors how they would react to a guilty verdict.

    I worked on this story yesterday and we followed the same practices as Nick Pisa. Unfortunately for him, someone preemptively published the wrong version. Sky News flashed up a 'Guilty' ticker - briefly - as well. It's easy to get trigger happy in tense moments like these, especially when a language barrier is involved, but I'm sure the parties in question will be paying for this mistake for some time.

    Your beef here isn't with the journalist - but then again it's not quite as much fun to pick on the publishing minions, is it.....?

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  47. ...this is SO funny ! No one takes the Mail seriously do they ? Such fun when a balls up is made ! Good work Daily Mail.....and to those who made serious criticism ....don't get so hot under the collar ... always remember this is NOT a newspaper, just an adult comic. SOMETHING has to re[lace the News of the World !!!

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  48. Nick Pisa (in Italy) is freelance he is not a DM reporter, I only hope for the DM's sake that they didn't just shove his name on it.

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  49. Breaches of Article 1 clauses (i) (ii) and (iii) of the Press Complaints Commission Code of Conduct here

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  50. Does this paper still employ MacKenzie? Along with the scum, this rag isn't fit to be used as toilet paper.

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  51. Ignoring this story for a second, all of the big newspapers and publishers around the world practise this - they write 2 stories and quickly fill in one or 2 blanks when the news breaks and hit publish. However when they do leak the wrong story (which doesn't happen often!), it does make them look like utter idiots.

    Has anyone read their article that was supposed to go live? How did the facts and quotes in that story turn out?

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  52. This is awful isn't it. I couldn't believe my eyes and I regularly rant on and on (and on and on) about how bad that paper is.

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  53. Interestingly a Google search for Paul Perrin comes up with this site: http://paulperrin.co.uk/

    He's a UKIP councillor (or wants to be).

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  54. Not offended, and certainly not surprised. But definitely amused at the amateurish approach!

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  55. Even by the Fail's standards this one is absolute fried gold!

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  56. I work for NASA, have done for the last two decades.

    We all make our comments anonymously, by the way. Any time you see a comment from 'Anonymous', you can guarantee that it's a slow day at NASA.

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  57. not sure why I am surpised...w*nkers of highest order

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  58. I once had the misfortune to witness a friend appear in court. I was very surprised to read about his reaction to the sentence as it bore no semblance of the reality of the courtroom.

    It was colourful. And of course it added "interest" but was not factual.

    The story was filed by the PA that bastion of "good" reporting and was subsequently picked up by a couple of other media outlets including the BBC. They declined to respond when I asked them if they had fact checked the story and pointed out that it was factually inaccurate. Am I surprised by this. Sadly no. The Mail is the shit stain on the bottom of a shoe.

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  59. Nick Pisa is Johann Hari and I claim my five pounds

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  60. This is truly & utterly disgusting & evil. The lives & fate of 2 young people received no regard or consideration of their basic fundamental rights to due process & application of justice.

    These 2 young people have gone through 2 sets of trials. Trial by media & another by the Italian Justice System.The trial for what it is worth ended with 2 convictions based on the most tenuous of DNA evidence.

    Those who work in the media business have practiced irresponsible behavior and are guilty of a terrible disservice and injustice to the victim, Meredith Kercher & her family. Merdith Kercher, a bright & beautiful young lady with a bright future cut short by violence. The family now have to go back to square one to seek justice for the unimaginable painful loss of their beautiful daughter/sister.

    After 4 years lapse, the trail have gotten colder for catching the killer or killers still out there.

    There are no winners, Meridith Kercher never get to experience her life journey, her family will never get to share & enjoy that experience. Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito lost 4 years of their lives.

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  61. To those defending this: having two versions of a story ready to go, fine. Doing interviews in advance then claiming they were done after the event - borderline for me but I can live with it. Describing the reactions of a grieving family and others as they hear the verdict? Lies, and highly cynical to boot. Common practice to journalists is not the same as acceptable or decent.

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  62. Sometimes statements are released prior to the verdict to trusted reporters under the proviso they are only to be published in the event of a guilty verdict. Reporters then pre-prepare stories based on their knowledge of what happens usually in cases like this, or tip-offs, or experience of the case so far. It is because reporters are under such pressure to get stories out fast so that readers' demands are met for fast news.

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  63. "After 4 years lapse, the trail have gotten colder for catching the killer or killers still out there. "

    You do realise that Rudy Guede is serving 16 years for the sexual assualt and murder of Meridith Kercher, no?

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  64. If you click the link "they posted the wrong one" and zoom in to the line of pictures about half way down there is a Reuters picture of the court room with a huge bank of journalists and cameramen... Read the caption below it.. Quite fitting I thought.
    Someone forgot the R :D

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  65. Doubt the British Daily Mail would use the Americanised spelling of realised (realized) so suspect this article is actually a little bit made up... and I'm really never one to defend the Daily Mail!

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  66. "Sorry...
    The page you have requested does not exist or is no longer available.

    If you have typed the URL in by hand, please make sure you have entered it correctly, with no capital letters of spaces.

    Alternatively, if you have clicked on a link on Mail Online and found this page, please report the problem to our technical team and we will correct it as soon as possible.

    Looking for a particular section and not sure how to find it? Our site map provides a overview of our entire site."

    mailofail.

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  67. Everybody who is doing so seems to be defending the piece with the same line - that it is normal for a paper to produce two versions of the same story. Fair enough. What people seem to be conveniently ignoring however are the facts in the rest of the article, including quotes from those involved, that are, and let me stress this:

    ENTIRELY FICTITIOUS.

    *This* is what people are annoyed about. Even for the Daily Mail this is kind of a new low; it shows the total disregard they have for what actually happened in favour of some story they've just made up that sounds good; and if they're willing to do it over trivial details that would easily have been inserted afterwards, what's to stop them doing it regularly in matters which more closely concern their specific agenda of right-wing fear-mongering?

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  68. "Doubt the British Daily Mail would use the Americanised spelling of realised (realized) so suspect this article is actually a little bit made up..."

    1750 google results for "site:dailymail.co.uk realized". Maybe the whole site is made up?

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  69. @ Anonymous

    Actual the Daily Mail has a habit of "americanizing" spelling as it frequently rips off articles written in American magazines about pointless celebrities. The website is littered with Americanisms.

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  70. Anon@22:09 You suspect it might be a made up story by TW, and the countless others that also noticed it? Based on one Americanised spelling? (Because papers never make spelling mistakes...)

    Perhaps this Press Gazette followup story quoting the Daily Mail response, where they admit that it happened, and they're investigating how, is also made up http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=47981&c=1

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  71. The idea of having two stories prepared because of tight deadlines is fine if you're talking about the printed version, where you have the printing presses on standby.

    No such time constraints exists with the online version, where you have all the time in the world to put up the correct story. No deadlines exist online.

    The desire to be first out with the story online was all that mattered to the DM. This desire was stronger than making sure what they were putting out was true.

    Pathetic.

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  72. As many others have said before me, I have no problem with the daily mail having two versions of the story mocked up and ready to go as soon as they get the salient details. If that was all that they had done - published a story with a guilty verdict in the headline and some text that said "The family of the murdered girl said this when asked what their reaction to the verdict was "Lorem ipsem..." That would have been a harmless error.

    But they didn't do that. What they published was a fictitious account of how the various parties reacted to a non-existent verdict.

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  73. I'm surprised the DM even covered the trial given Knox wasn't showing off her bikini body.

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  74. Paul Perrin shows just how devoid of any real meaning or currency the term PC is. Don't worry, ust use it to describe anyone or anything you don't agree with. Criticizing someone for lying? That's "PC".

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  75. It's disappointing that people still buy The Daily Mail because even if they don't believe half of it it gives the impression to politicians that people do and this tends to influence policy. Only by it and others like it going out of business will politicians realise the rest of the country isn't nearly as up it's own a**e as the rhetoric in the likes of The Daily Mail.

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  76. Fame at last - quoted by Alastair Campbell to the Leveson enquiry :)

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/73905952/Campbell-Leveson-Text

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