Do the (Irish) Daily Mail believe in sources?

Something I meant to reference on Sunday but completely forgot about;

BCI blasts Newstalk claims (Catherine O’Mahony, Sunday Business Post)
The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI) has described as bizarre and untrue a newspaper article that suggested that it regretted having awarded Newstalk a quasi-national radio licence.

The Irish Daily Mail reported that the BCI board was furious that Newstalk had pitched the idea of a station featuring household names such as Eamon Dunphy, who are now to leave or look unlikely to join the station’s quasi-national service.

BCI chairman Conor Maguire is expected to take a stern line on the matter at the next board meeting later this month.

A BCI spokeswoman said the organisation was ‘‘completely taken aback’’ by the suggestion.

She said the BCI’s chief executive, Michael O’Keefe, had immediately contacted Newstalk to tell the station the article was baseless.

‘‘We’ve never licensed on the basis of personalities and it would make no sense to do so,” she said. ’‘We thought the article was absolutely bizarre.

‘‘We pride ourselves on the rigours of our processes, and this would undermine every process we have.”

After Dunphy announced his departure from Newstalk most people saw it as a blow to the station’s national ambitions; The Irish Daily Mail seems to have taken that and fabricated an entire story around it, stating that the BCI was now regretting their original decision. So, had the article have been true not only would Newstalk be faced with the task of replacing a popular presenter they also have to deal with a licencing board that doesn’t want them to have the licence; a juicy piece of gossip that certainly is, but obviously baseless.
Of course this was another use of the “anonymous source” technique; something that is a vital tool in reporting certain events but is abused by rags like this one. The more newspapers like the (Irish) Daily Mail fabricate sources and place them as anonymous voices the less likely the reader will trust them when they come along with a real story and a real anonymous source.

Of course creating a real news story may be too much to expect from this publication, especially when it comes to it’s so called “Irish” edition. Mark Tighe over at RoboHack has been a victim of their team’s laziness with his Bebo article; it turned up in their Monday edition after he had it published in The Sunday Times, the quotes were the same but the supposed writer was not, they even admitted their actions to him later on.
With talk of a Press Council on the way maybe this sort of crap can be stamped out or at least punished. If I were able to add a rule to the way newspapers in Ireland work, and this could be something the Press Council would enforce, it would be that newspapers claiming to be Irish (Irish Sun, Irish Daily Mail, Irish Mirror etc.) must have a majority of Irish content and a reflective number of staff and not just a handful of badly researched pages slapped on top of the UK-centric content from the main edition.

2 Comments

  1. [...] Following on from previous threads and in light of the story doing the rounds on Associated’s losses in its Irish operations, once has to ask what the company needs to do to bag readers and most importantly, turn a profit? [...]

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