Saturday 26 September 2009

Six apologies in three days

From yesterday's Sun, an apology - and £10,000 damages - to Lily Allen:

In May we reported in Bizarre that Lily Allen had made various offensive remarks about David and Victoria Beckham and Ashley and Cheryl Cole in an interview with a magazine.

We now accept that Lily didn't say these things to the magazine and we apologise to Lily for the upset and embarrassment caused by repeating them.

The day before, on Thursday 24 September, the Evening Standard and Mail dished out an apology and 'substantial' payout to Metropolitan police commander Ali Dizaei after they claimed he was a bigamist in June 2008:

In an article published on 21 June 2008, we reported the results of a search from the Principal Registry of the Family Division that there was no record of a divorce between Ali Dizaei and Natalie Downing. In fact, Decree Absolute had been obtained in July 2005, two years before his marriage to Shahameh Dizaei, but due to an error of the court the divorce was not registered centrally. We are happy to clarify the position and apologise to all concerned.

That came a day after the Sun apologised over the hit list story and both the Mail (and News of the World) had apologised and paid out to England's football coach Fabio Capello over an invasion of privacy.

The Mail's role in the Capello story is particularly interesting, as explained in the Independent. The Capellos were on holiday and had noticed lots of photographers sniffing around. He contacted the Football Association (FA) which in turn spoke to the PCC, who issued a statement to all editors that publication of any pictures of the Capellos would be considered a breach of privacy.

The News of the World decided to ignore that and publish seven photos a few days later. The FA weren't impressed, and got onto the PCC. The pics were soon removed from the paper's website.

On Sunday afternoon, the FA sent a further letter, as the Indy explains:

The FA then wrote to newspapers and broadcasters to "formally request all other media do not use these photographs and respect the Capellos' right to privacy set out by the PCC". It pointed out that: "Fabio Capello and the FA could not have been clearer from the moment he commenced his role in January 2008 that he wants to enjoy a professional working relationship with the media, but he considers his private life and his family private."

But the Mail decided to ignore all that and printed some of the pictures on page three of its Monday edition. Why did it think pictures of Mrs Capello taking a mudbath of any interest to its readers at all? But more importantly, why did the Mail think it was above a warning from the PCC? Does the Mail really treat the PCC with such disdain?

1 comment:

  1. Because the PCC isn't a watchdog at all, but a toothless toy dog on wheels?


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