Thursday, December 17, 2009

Echo climbs down further on John Baron story

Another article in the Echo following their front-page story that John Baron MP claimed a food parcel for troops in Afghanistan on parliamentary expenses. This one states categorically that he did not and quotes the parliamentary fees office as a source. The article was short, on page 2, but outlined with a heavy border and is the second that they have had to print retracting their original claims. Now, I don't know how journalistic performance is assessed, but I would think that writing a story that was not only untrue, but which forced your paper to print two articles in subsequent editions retracting it under threat of action in the High Court would not be regarded as doing a particularly good job. It doesn't say very good things about the Echo's editorial processes that such a thing could be allowed to happen either.

Have they done enough to avoid a libel action? I don't know. I do know that the Echo is being taken to the Press Complaints Commission by John Baron over this matter, but that is something the editor must be getting used to by now.

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