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.
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.