Two news outlets failed by using photos of the wrong person with the same name in news stories. The errors are reminders that names are more common than you may think, and to double check before assuming the photo matches the story.
In early January, UK news site Hull Live reported on an alleged drunk driver who “took police on a dangerous high-speed chase.” But instead of using a photo of the 29-year-old man accused, Hull Live used a photo of another man with the same name 17 years his senior. Both men are named Tom Orrett.
In a Jan. 10 apology, Hull Live wrote:
In an article published online headlined on “Reckless reason why this drink driver took police on a dangerous high-speed chase”, on Wednesday, January 9, Hull Liveincorrectly published a picture of a man sharing the same name as the defendant, Tom Orrett.
We would like to make it clear that the defendant is Tom Orrett, 29, of Groveland Avenue, Wallasey and the photograph we mistakenly published is actually that of Tom Orrett, 46, an architectural technologist, of Ella Street, west Hull.
Mr Orrett of Ella Street has no connection or affiliation to Mr Orrett of Wallasey, or the offences of drink driving, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, twice failing to stop, and using a vehicle without insurance.
We would like to apologise to Mr Orrett of Ella Street for any distress or embarrassment caused by this error.
And, in another UK case, the Daily Express published a correction after using a photo of the wrong woman who was attacked with a hammer. The woman who was pictured wasn’t the victim, so she complained to the UK press regulator the Independent Press Standards Organisation over the error.
The Express was ordered to publish this correction:
“We published an article headlined “‘I didn’t recognise girl after hammer attack’” on 21 August 2018, which included a photograph which we said was of Anna Gos, the victim of the attack. In fact, this photograph was of a different person with the same name, and was included in error. We apologise for any distress that may have been caused by this error.”
Also in the past month, the Sydney Morning Herald apologized when it used the photo of the wrong person with a story on a man accused of shooting his stepmother with a nail gun, as iMediaEthics reported. The wrongly pictured man complained that the error was “abusive and disgraceful.”