What should happen when a paper apologizes


by Rumbold
26th February, 2009 at 5:10 pm    

The Sun has yet again found to have been lying, and not for the first time it involved smearing a Muslim:

“A London bus driver today accepted £30,000 in damages from the Sun over a claim that he ordered passengers off his vehicle so that he could pray.

The story in March last year caused Arunas Raulynaitis considerable distress and embarrassment, his solicitor, Stephen Loughrey, told Mr Justice Eady at the high court in London.

Loughrey said the newspaper now accepted that the allegations were entirely false and that Raulynaitis did not order any passengers off, there was no rucksack and no one refused to reboard because they feared he was a fanatic.”

The bus driver has been awarded £30,000, but as someone else argued on another thread, what difference will this actually make? Much more effective, in addition to the money, would be to embarrass any paper that printed stories like this. A practical way to do this would be to force the paper to lead with the apology on their front page, and it would have to take up the whole cover. A less likely solution, but a more enjoyable one, would be to allow the injured party to edit the paper for a day, and run it how they liked. Imagine the headlines in the Sun (“Muslims are great”), editorials in the Daily Mail extolling the virtues of immigration, or columns in the Guardian on why the state shouldn’t be taking so much of our money and wasting it.

(Hat-Tip: Marvin)


              Post to del.icio.us


Filed in: EDL,Media,Race politics






18 Comments below   |  

Reactions: Twitter, blogs


  1. Amrit — on 26th February, 2009 at 6:17 pm  

    ‘A less likely solution, but a more enjoyable one, would be to allow the injured party to edit the paper for a day, and run it how they liked.’

    Oh, what a glorious, glorious mind-fuck that would be. I would replace all the Page-3 boobs with pictures of testicles!

  2. Refresh — on 26th February, 2009 at 6:21 pm  

    Repeat offenders should be imprisoned and their ill-gotten gains sequestered.

    And in the case of the editors of the Sun and Mail, made to share a cell with a 600lb gorilla. Or several.

  3. Leon — on 26th February, 2009 at 6:46 pm  

    I agree with something [I think] Unity said, the apology should have the same place and amount of space as the story that caused it. So if it’s a big splash on the front page then that’s where the apology should be….

  4. Don — on 26th February, 2009 at 7:16 pm  

    I think the editorial staff should apologise through the medium of interpretive dance.

  5. Leon — on 26th February, 2009 at 8:11 pm  

    *has a Family Guy flashback*

  6. Sunny — on 26th February, 2009 at 8:15 pm  

    Yeah but the damage is done isn’t it. This post will have already made the rounds of blogs proclaiming how the DHIMMIFICATION OF BRITAIN BY ZANULIEBORE/ISLAMOFASCIST-NAZIS-HILTER’S CHILDREN is already here.

  7. Random Guy — on 26th February, 2009 at 8:56 pm  

    …which is exactly the point of them putting the articles up in the first place.

    Exactly right Sunny.

    £30,000 is a paltry amount to pay when you have already accomplished an immeasurable increase in racist and xenophobic attitudes.

  8. persephone — on 26th February, 2009 at 10:27 pm  

    Perhaps the punishment should be that the paper cannot go to print for the equivalent days they ran the offending story. Hitting their revenue & circulation base would hit them where it hurts most & stop them from sending out any messages at all

  9. dave bones — on 26th February, 2009 at 11:27 pm  

    I don’t know if there is a market for a tabloid pitched at this level featuring stuff like this bus driver. I’ve always had an unhealthy interest in tabloids, a bit like smoking. I wonder if there would be a way to market something like The Sun, but opposite. We had a go at tabloidism a bit with socialistwanker.com but it never really went anywhere.

    Anyway Down with the Sun! Give me my fucking money!

  10. bill — on 26th February, 2009 at 11:45 pm  

    I can think of no better way to kill investigative journalism and free expression.

    The Guardian was recently embroiled in a dispute with Tesco as part of its series into corporate tax avoidance. Would they have even bothered if they knew there would be a risk they would have had to devote their front page to a grovelling apology?

    Similarly, what newspaper would ever want to investigate the likes of the BNP if they knew there was a risk of having to devote their front page to a screed declaring he was not, in fact, a neo-Nazi and racist.

    (NB: the problem with this front page business is it would massively hit sales. Essentially it increases the financial jeopardy involved in journalism and massively shifts the risk/reward balance in running any story).

    Or perhaps the idea that litigious people like Alisher Usmanov, Jeffrey Archer, George Galloway or David Irving might get a chance to guest edit national newspapers might suggest a problem with these suggestions.

  11. Refresh — on 27th February, 2009 at 1:12 am  

    But Bill you are happy to have the likes of Murdoch (and before that Conrad Black) dictate national (and often foreign) policy without any real remedy.

    If there is proof that there is a pattern to their deceit and lies would you still feel you are really protecting freedom of expression? Or freedom to deceive?

  12. Refresh — on 27th February, 2009 at 1:20 am  

    What we need is a serious dose of citizen journalism. It is the only way forward. It requires some quality control, that material used is from reliable and verified source of course. But this is the way ahead.

    Right now I would commend the work Sunny is doing alongside Tim Ireland and Bartholomew in exposing the terror industry feeding into the media and the politicians.

    The industry can be likened to any other illicit trade – arms and narcotics are the obvious example. There are those who pull the strings; those that provoke and those that peddle. Somewhere along the line are the mules.

    The whole chain needs to be exposed. Not for any muslim’s sake, trust me they are a resilient bunch. But for the sake of the country which is slowly (or quickly depending on how you want to look at it) being dragged into paranoia and mistrust. Unless this is reversed, we will have editors of major newspapers who will not want to live in a country that they will have helped create.

  13. platinum786 — on 27th February, 2009 at 9:25 am  

    I think they should be hit where it hurts.

    As well as publishing a full front page apology they should be banned from print for a week at a time.

    also I think investigtions should be carried out by a government body to find out how the lie came about and anyone found guilty of instigating it, personally sent to court and sued.

  14. bill — on 27th February, 2009 at 10:57 am  

    But Bill you are happy to have the likes of Murdoch (and before that Conrad Black) dictate national (and often foreign) policy without any real remedy.

    Dictating policy? I think you’re massively over-stating the influence of the press there. The Sun did not win the 1992 election for the Tories; that was mere boasting.

    If politicians are so weak as to let the Daily Mail, say, decide policy then I suggest that the voters (most of whom do not read that newspaper) have the remedy in their hands.

    I’m afraid that if you think people are suspicious of Muslims solely on the basis of what they read in the tabloids then you’ll be in for a very nasty shock when a whole new lot of citizen journalists appear and start doing what the pros are doing but with fewer constraints.

    As for the idea that the government should have the power to decide whether newspapers are printing “the truth” and have the power to close newspapers… come on. We’d never have heard of Binyam Mohamed were that the case.

  15. Refresh — on 27th February, 2009 at 11:33 am  

    Bill

    You make some good points. However when you have the likes of Blair consulting Murdoch it does make you wonder.

    ‘I’m afraid that if you think people are suspicious of Muslims solely on the basis of what they read in the tabloids then you’ll be in for a very nasty shock when a whole new lot of citizen journalists appear and start doing what the pros are doing but with fewer constraints.’

    I don’t think there are any shocks we should not already be prepared for. The exposure of complicity and duplicity in the middle east, afghanistan, pakistan, indonesia, latin america, cambodia etc. should also come out so we can all better understand the world we are trying to grapple with.

    As for citizen journalism, its already here I suppose. The battle then really begins, who to believe who to trust and who to go to on which topic will be our personal choice. That’s my expectation.

    Lets not forget journalism, once considered a noble profession has been shown to be the naked emperor. Today journalists rank amongst the politicians and estate agents.

    Trust and reliability will be everything.

  16. bill — on 27th February, 2009 at 11:40 am  

    The battle then really begins, who to believe who to trust and who to go to on which topic will be our personal choice. That’s my expectation.

    True. It’ll just be more fragmented and people will go for what panders to their prejudices anyway. It’s what people have always done

    I’m not sure there was ever a golden age in which journalists were held in high regard,though. Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop is as good a guide as any. But remember Hilaire Belloc:

    You cannot hope to bribe or twist,
    Thank God, the British journalist.
    But then there’s no occasion to
    When seeing what unbribed he’ll do.

  17. Refresh — on 27th February, 2009 at 11:48 am  

    ‘I’m not sure there was ever a golden age in which journalists were held in high regard,though.’

    Good point. I was trying to show a bit of generosity.

    A further thought. On the question of who to trust, we will be making direct judgements on reporter; and we will be able to expose them directly. So if they do try to deceive us, they will not be in the job for too long.

  18. Katy Newton — on 27th February, 2009 at 12:05 pm  

    I assume that someone with deeper pockets than the bus driver financed this – Carter Ruck doesn’t come cheap. And to be honest, I think that’s a very good thing. Libel law is certainly better used for outright lies like this than it is for defending Max Mosley’s right to Nazi-themed sex parties.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Pickled Politics © Copyright 2005 - 2010. All rights reserved. Terms and conditions.
With the help of PHP and Wordpress.