Friday 5 June 2009

Cairns Post issues another apology

In last weekend's Cairns Post, a horrible nasty wee letter slipped through the sewer and appeared in the weekend letters column.

I published the letter and there was an outrage from some when I gave some details of the letter writer.

It is standard procedure for a newspaper to check and verify the authenticity of all letter writers before publication.
  • "You must provide your name, address and contact telephone number for verification."

On Monday, the Post printed a rather weak apology.

Now almost an entire week later, they have issued a second apology. Could it take a whole week before the published author realised he didn't write the letter? I doubt that very much.

Jeff Barnes claims that someone else used his email address. Hard to really stomach that explanation. The Post confirmed that it was received from his email address. Although I know that it's not that difficult to create such an illusion, it would be extremely odd in this instance. Maybe Mr Barnes blames his cat for playing up whilst he was down at the Brinsmead pub that evening?

Goes to show that the Post didn't, and doesn't, enforce it's own procedure to verify letter writers. How hard is it to telephone the writer and check? How long would that take to do, especially when it's such a nasty letter like the one published?

It should not have even past the gatekeeper at all, and been thrown in the bin when it was received. It's publication says as much about the Cairns Post process and desire to allow such a hate-filled letter to appear, as it does about it's author.


Vanessa said...

"How hard is it to telephone the writer and check?"

Very hard, as it would require the Post to do work.

Tony, Edge HIll said...

Funny, but you went off on the guy with even less evidence. You fully believed the letter when it was published in the Cairns Post, and invited readers to harass the guy by telephoning him, or going by his house. This is typical of the double-standards used by the "new media".

You're pathetic, Michael.

Unknown said...

Another insincere non-apology from the Cairns Post.

We all know the letter was published because this gutter rag is determined, with malice, to continue to undermine the mayor and to hold her up to hatred, ridicule and contempt (see the nonsense published on the Weekend Post front page today - June 6) as another example).

This second non-apology is nothing more than a blatant attempt at arse-covering typical of the Murdoch press when they are caught out.

So here's what the Cairns Post should have said:

The Cairns Post sincerely apologises to the Mayor, Cr Val Schier, for the letter it allowed to be published recently.

The Cairns Post was negligent in allowing such a letter to be published, and sincerely regrets this very serious lapse in good journalistic practices.

The Cairns Post also publicly apologises to other arthritis sufferers to whom the letter was extremely offensive.

Arthur Festerbestertester said...

the letters page, like the editorial comment, was once the heart and soul of responsible newspapers that took their position in society seriously. the publication of this letter demonstrates how rotten the modern media is, how demeaned and diminished it has become at the hands of the murdoch empire