There but for the grace of god goes any one of us… though Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford could probably have done without this blunder on the same day it was announced that he and his publication had both made it on to the shortlists for Britain’s inaugural online journalism awards (sponsored by, among others… the Press Gazette. But that’s another story).
Whether Gordon Strachan decides to sue over the error, we wait to see.
The usually excellent Press Gazette ought to be required daily reading for anyone in our business, and since going to an online/subscription monthly mag format, as part of its service, it sends out a daily email with links to its latest stories. PG has 6,000 subscribers to this service.
Among its links today was the headline:
“Gordon Strachan: Mail wrong over bisexual affair claim”
The taster copy beneath the headline then claimed that the Daily Mail had published a series of amendments to articles claiming that Strachan was bisexual, had an affair with a male aide to the royal family and had a cocaine habit.
Trouble is, in compiling PG‘s daily email bulletin, someone had got the wrong Strachan in a catastrophic journalistic fail.
The article to which the link took readers had nothing to do with the the former Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds footballer and Celtic, Southampton and Coventry manager, and everything to do with Ian Strachan, the Scottish socialite, and his run-in with the Mail.
According to a member of staff at PG today, the error was corrected within half an hour. The Ian Strachan/Mail story is still to be found on PG‘s front page, though somewhat sheepishly somewhere down towards the foot of the listings.
All an object lesson, no doubt, for the need of having the right staffing levels and sufficient experienced operators to help check and double-check all content before it goes to print or is posted online.
Now… wonder who we can run this past at SJA Towers before it goes live?
- Thanks to Anton Rippon and Norman Giller for their additional reporting on this article.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Fri May 20: SJA Cricket Day, Whitgift School, South Croydon. Informal get-together at the Surrey v Essex county game. Click here for more details.
Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates