Guido, Jacko And Miliband’s Phantom Tweet

Political blogger Guido Fawkes is having much fun at the expense of big media. Again.

This time it’s the supposed Twitter tribute from foreign secretary David Miliband in the wake of Michael Jackson’s death.

According to copy sourced from the Press Association, Miliband apparently tweeted: “Never has one soared so high and yet dived so low. RIP Michael”

Except he didn’t. It wasn’t true and a little routine research put that lie to bed.

Fawkes/Staines says:

On Wednesday Guido gave a presentation to the Press Association on the future of digital journalism.   Looks like Guido could teach them something about checking their sources…

PA and number of the outlets that carried the story have since pulled it, but it’s likely to be more grist to the mill for Nick Davies and other who claim that our newspaper’s are overloaded with undercooked wire copy.

It’s a strong argument but it’s not just the big/traditional/mainstream/dead tree media (*delete according to taste) that gets things wrong.

Earlier this month Guido himself got stung when he reported that the recently departed James Purnell was about to hold an informal drinks reception as a prelude to a leadership bid.

+++Exclusive :”Purnell will stand” +++ read the dramatic headline

Like the Miliband tweet, it was a good tale but sadly not true.

Where Guido deserves credit is in showing his workings. When he discovered his single-sourced story didn’t stand up, he explained what went wrong.

It was a decent defence of his error. But an error nonetheless.

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2 comments on “Guido, Jacko And Miliband’s Phantom Tweet
  1. [...] Guido, Jacko And Miliband’s Phantom Tweet Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)How Twitter Left Google News Trailing Over [...]

  2. [...]  – Guido, Jacko And Miliband’s Phantom Tweet  – Five Ways News Organisations Should Use Twitter  – How Twitter Left Google News Trailing [...]

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Jon Bernstein: I am a digital media consultant, writer and editor and this is my personal blog.

Previously, I was digital director / deputy editor at the New Statesman, the multimedia editor at Channel 4 News, launch editor of Channel 4 FactCheck, editor-in-chief at Directgov and editor-in-chief of silicon.com.

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