Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Sun corrects '£32 loaf of bread' story

On 19 and 20 July, several newspapers reported that the NHS was purchasing gluten-free bread for £32.27 per loaf. The Mail, Mirror, Express, Sun and Telegraph all carried the story. It appeared that none of the journalists bothered to check the facts - if they had, they would have found the cost for a single loaf was closer to £2.82.

To its credit, the Express ran its correction the day after it published the original.

Yesterday - two months later - the Sun finally published its correction:

Price of coeliac loaf is £2.82
We reported on July 19 that the NHS paid £32.27 per loaf of non-gluten bread, given on prescription to sufferers of coeliac disease. In fact, the cost per loaf is around £2.82, £32 being for an average prescription of several loaves. We are happy to make this clear.

At the time of writing, this does not appear on the Sun's website. The original article and the accompanying editorial, are both still on there, however. Neither has had the correction added.

The correction ran on page six of yesterday's paper whereas the original article appeared on page nine. But compare the prominence of the original:

with the size of the correction:

Yes, it's the smallest headline and shortest article on that page.

Given that the story was proved to be wrong within a day of its publication, it's not clear why it took the Sun two months to correct it.

It's also unclear when the Mirror, Mail and Telegraph will correct their versions - all of which remain live.

No comments: