A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a very strange news story in which there were reports of outrage over Prime Minister Stephen Harper not eating a communion wafer.
Now, the newspaper that ran that story is apologizing to the Prime Minister,
The Telegraph-Journal, based in Saint John, yesterday disavowed the tale, saying it “sincerely apologizes to the Prime Minister for the harm that this inaccurate story has caused.”In a rare front-page apology, the newspaper said the story “should not have been published.
“We pride ourselves in maintaining high standards of journalism and ethical reporting, and regret this was not followed in this case,” the newspaper said.
Kudos to the paper for not burrying the retraction in the back pages.
This story is no longer about the communion wafer, but instead about the state of journalism in our country. This is an example of how accurate reporting gets lost in the editing process:
“Our reporters Rob Linke and Adam Huras, who wrote the story reporting on the funeral, did not include these statements in the version of the story that they wrote. In the editing process, these statements were added without the knowledge of the reporters and without any credible support for them,” the newspaper said.
It’s difficult to trust newspapers with the knowledge that editors are sometimes willing to simply make something up in order to sell more copies. We’re living in an interesting time in which print journalism is in decline and the best reporting is now sometimes coming from amateurs posting on blogs (I’m not talking about mine here!).