The Top 10 newspaper apologies of 2012
THE Top Ten Newspaper corrections of 2012:
The New York Times:
An article on Monday about Jack Robison and Kirsten Lindsmith, two college students with Asperger syndrome who are navigating the perils of an intimate relationship, misidentified the character from the animated children’s TV show “My Little Pony” that Ms. Lindsmith said she visualized to cheer herself up. It is Twilight Sparkle, the nerdy intellectual, not Fluttershy, the kind animal lover.
C.W. Nevius’ column about Most Holy Redeemer banning drag queen performers incorrectly stated that entertainer Peaches Christ appeared at an event at the church’s hall with a dildo shaped like a crucifix. He did not appear at the event, nor does he use the prop.
Who does his drapes? (Spotter.)
François Mitterrand, the former French president, is reported to have said that Margaret Thatcher had the mouth of Marilyn Monroe and the eyes of Caligula — not Stalin, as reported in an earlier version of this article.
In yesterday’s Daily Mirror newspaper a picture captioned Great Britain’s gold medal winning dressage team was in fact of the Dutch bronze medal trio.We apologise for the mistaken use of the picture, which was supplied by a normally reputable agency.
Due to a production error, a quote attributed to Lieutenant Colonel Ghulam Jehlani Shafiq in a report in The Weekend Australian on Saturday (“Afghanistan battles scourge of corruption”, page 16) was altered to change its meaning. Colonel Jehlani did not say: “It’s not like 25 years ago. I was killing everybody.” In fact, he said: “It’s not like 25 years ago I was killing everybody. At that time too we tried not to have civilian casualties.” The Australian apologises for the error.
THE Sun’s reporting of the Hillsborough tragedy 23 years ago is without doubt the blackest day in this newspaper’s history.
The Hillsborough Independent Panel’s report into the disaster lays bare the disgraceful attempt by South Yorkshire Police to hide their culpability behind a smokescreen of lies. It highlights a concerted campaign by senior officers to smear the innocent by fabricating lurid allegations about Liverpool fans — and then feeding them to the media.
But it is to the eternal discredit of The Sun that we reported as fact this misinformation which tarnished the reputation of Liverpool fans including the 96 victims. Today we unreservedly apologise to the Hillsborough victims, their families, Liverpool supporters, the city of Liverpool and all our readers for that misjudgment.
The role of a newspaper is to uncover injustice. To forensically examine the claims made by those who are in positions of power. In the aftermath of the Hillsborough tragedy we failed.
WITH Saturday’s Daily Mirror we distributed a supplement entitled ‘Women who Kill’ which we trailed on the front page of the newspaper with a picture of the front page of the supplement.
One of the women whose story featured in the supplement was Vera Renczi who lived in the former Yugoslavia between 1903 and 1939 and who killed 35 men. Unfortunately due to an error the picture we used, both inside and on the front page of the supplement, was not of Vera Renczi but of Patricia Belda Martinez, who is otherwise known as Morgana and who is a fashion model. The picture we used belongs to Ms Martinez.
We apologise unreservedly to Ms Martinez for our error in wrongly using her picture in the supplement which she, of course, has no connection with and for the considerable embarrassment caused to her by our actions.
A column by Glenn Garvin on Dec. 20 stated that the National Science Foundation “funded a study on Jell-O wrestling at the South Pole.” That is incorrect. The event took place during off-duty hours without NSF permission and did not involve taxpayer funds.
Daily Mirror wrongly accused Baby P’s dad of raping a 14-year-old girl.
Mr Justice Bean ordered Mirror Group Newspapers, publisher of the People, to pay an initial £30,000 in damages plus costs of £35,000. The damages payout will rise to £75,000 if the publisher loses permission to take the ruling to the court of appeal.
The allegations were contained in two paragraphs in a crime supplement in the People about Baby P’s mother, who had separated from the child’s father, referred to in court as KC. They appeared in a 19 September 2010 article headed “Tortured to death as mum turned a blind eye”…
Bean said in his written judgment: “It is difficult to think of any charge more calculated to lead to the revulsion and condemnation of a person’s fellow citizens than the rape of a 14-year-old girl.”
KC said in his witness statement that he was “shocked and upset beyond words” by the false libel, which he first learned about in phone calls from close friends.
The judge said the appropriate starting point for the damages was £150,000. But he reduced this by half, to £75,000 because Mirror Group Newspapers moved swiftly to apologise and correct the error.