The Daily Star ran a story, not too long ago. What with not reading the Daily Star very often I missed it and it has now been taken down from it’s website. This was due to two small factual errors (well, I say errors but…).
The PCC has adjudicated…
The front-page article had reported that a Rochdale shopping centre had installed “Muslim-only squat-hole loos” and that the local council had wasted “YOUR money” on them. The complainant argued that as the facilities would be available to everyone, it was inaccurate to state they were “Muslim-only”. Nor was taxpayers’ money involved, as the decision to pay for them had been taken by the shopping centre, not by the local council. The newspaper, while claiming that the toilets had been designed with Muslims in mind, nonetheless accepted that both its headline was inaccurate, and that the toilets were paid for by a private developer as opposed to the council. It removed the original article from its website and offered to publish a page 2 correction.
Once again, the PCC has excelled itself.
The Daily Star has portrayed these toilets as public. They may be open to the public, but they aren’t in the sense of the council paying for and having responsibility for them. The central claim that makes this story a story is false, because not a penny of taxpayers money was spent on them. That’s without the completely false headline. This story should just never have happened.
And what does the slavering, razor-toothed beast of a regulating body do? It accepted an offer of a page 2 correction.
This was a front page story. Shouldn’t an editor make sure that the biggest story of the day be correct? Shouldn’t a big, *ahem* ‘mistake’ like this need more than a correction hidden inside the paper when the, *ahem* ‘error’ was on the front?
This sort of ‘mistake’ shouldn’t happen. when it does, the PCC needs to be able to do more. Self regulation isn’t working.
This adjudication highlights not only the inadequacies of the PCC but also the agenda of Richard Desmonds publications, and arguably, the man himself.