UK newspaper Yellow Advertiser had to publish a front page apology May 16 for wrongly reporting that drugs police raided two local schools when the police were actually there for a school visit as part of “an anti-drugs initiative,” the Press Gazette reported.
The original story was headlined in large bold type “DRUGS RAID AT SCHOOLS.” The Advertiser had claimed in a May 2 front page article that “cops with sniffer dogs raided two Havering schools after morning assembly on Friday, but found no illegal substances.”
The article claimed that “hundreds of students…were checked and searched by Met Police as part of two announced swoops, dubbed Operation Twister.”
UK media news site Hold the Front Page published images of the original front page story and the follow-up apology. Below see the May 16 front page with the apology.
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To its credit, Yellow Advertiser‘s May 16 apology was prominent, published in the right column of the front page of the newspaper. The apology stated in part,
“The schools were in fact visited by the Metropolitan Police as part of Operation Twister – an anti-drugs initiative led by the borough’s Safer Schools police offers and supported by the dedicated ward officers.”
Yellow Advertiser also apologized “for any misunderstanding” because of its article.
iMediaEthics is writing to Yellow Advertiser to ask how the error occurred in the first place.