Tuesday 28 May 2013

Rumours - NOT by Fleetwood Mac

Oh dear, it looks as if certain sections of the media - old and new - never learn.

Rumours that the violent attack on a prison officer at HMP Full Sutton had been led by Parviz Khan - a Muslim extremist found guilty of plotting to behead a British soldier - have been splashed by several newspapers and, inevitably, many on Twitter and, unfortunately, also on blogs followed suit.

The Ministry of Justice press office, however, then put out this categorical statement on Twitter:

MoJ Press Office ‏@MoJPress 4hr
Individual named by media in connection with incident at HMP Full Sutton was NOT involved and is NOT at that prison #fullsutton

As I say, oh dear!

As far as I can see it was the Daily Mirror that got it wrong first, with the Huff Post and Daily Star coming much later.

The Huff Post has very properly left its original article for all to see but added prominently - at the head of the article and in bold type - the following update:
UPDATE: It was reported that the attack was masterminded by Muslim fanatic Parviz Khan, who is serving a life sentence for plotting to behead a British soldier, but it later emerged he is not an inmate at Full Sutton.
That is admirable behaviour.

The Daily Mirror, in contrast, has been far less honest.

Google News still records what their article originally said when it was published many hours ago -

Woolwich attack: Terrorist thug jailed for plotting to behead soldier batters prison ...

Mirror.co.uk - ‎15 hours ago‎
Prison staff feared their colleague, locked in a room and being attacked by crazed extremists, was facing the same gruesome death as murdered soldier Lee Rigby. Leading the thugs was al-Qaeda fanatic Parviz Khan, serving life for plotting to behead a ...

The Mirror has simply, as the phrase goes, "stealth-edited" its original article (ie. leaving no trace via a date stamp or any mention of an update) to remove Khan's name, with no acknowledgement of their mistake and not the slightest whiff of contrition - which is the sort of thing that gets the press a bad name #leveson

The Daily Star still hasn't got round to correcting its article, which is still bearing a photo of Khan with the word "monster" below it. 

It's at times like this when you can see that the BBC's cautious approach to reporting these sorts of story can  appear to be the wiser route to take.

'If you didn't laugh you'd cry' is a bit of a cliché now, but I thought of it as I read this comment which appeared on Twitter whilst I was writing this post:
VerseCannon ‏@VerseCannon 21m
Muslim Fanatic Parviz Khan Led Stabbing Attack On Prison Warden in UK , Reports Say
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/05/28/muslim-fanatic-led-stabbing-prison-warden_n_3344869.html?utm_hp_ref=uk?ncid=GEP …
That person had obviously failed to notice the whopping UPDATE on the Huff Post's article before tweeting away to the entire world. #jeez!  

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