3 Reasons Not to Trust the UK Daily Mail's Reporting on Severed Head Photo

iMediaEthics publishes international media ethics news stories and investigations into journalism ethics lapses.


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(Credit: Mail, screenshot)

iMediaEthics’ coverage of the NY Daily News’s “exclusive” photo of Bashid Mclean,  who was photographed holding the severed head of his mother, Tanya Byrd, included significant gaffes by several other news outlets. Leading the way in our round-up of reporting foul-ups is the Daily Mail, which

1) Had Bad Spelling: The Daily Mail misspelled Bashid Mclean’s name as Bahsid McLean in their reports, headlines and captions. iMediaEthics checked with the New York Police Department twice to confirm that Mclean’s name is spelled Bashid Mclean.  The Daily Mail likely got the wrong spelling from the New York Post, which was cited as a source in the Mail’s reporting and which made the same spelling error.

2) Stole an Exclusive Photo from The NY Daily News: iMediaEthics found evidence that the Daily Mail stole the New York Daily News’ exclusive and sensational photo of Mclean holding his mother’s decapitated head.  The Daily News told iMediaEthics that it didn’t sell or grant permission for others to use its image, which it censored. iMediaEthics’ photo analysis included comparisons of the positioning and size of the Daily News’ black dot to censor out the ghoulish image of Byrd’s head.  Since the Daily Mail — along with the New York Post and Huffington Post — had the black dot in the same size and position as the Daily News, we concluded that in all likelihood, they stole the photo. None of the aforementioned deny it!

3) Fell for Twitter Hoax: Again we confronted the Daily Mail and it did not deny it. The Mail wrote about Mclean’s supposed Twitter account without skepticism and apparently got duped.  The fake Twitter account,  @killtanyabyrd, has posted no tweets, follows no one, and like the Mail, carries the misspelled version of Mclean’s name.  But none of that kept the Daily Mail from reporting that it was Mclean’s Twitter account. While the NYPD hasn’t yet confirmed the account is phony, based on the misspelled name alone, it’s fairly safe to say it’s not legit.

Check out iMediaEthics’ stories on Bashid Mclean.

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3 Reasons Not to Trust the UK Daily Mail’s Reporting on Severed Head Photo

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