BBC Radio Apologizes for Wrongly Reporting Newspaper Closing

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(Credit: Twitter, screenshot)

BBC Radio Stoke apologized for a November report that the Northcliffe Media-owned Sentinel was closing, Hold the Front Page reported.

The article was “re-written,” Hold the Front Page reported a BBC spokesperson said, noting that the Sentinel’s editor was offered airtime to clarify the story, which he declined.”  The Sentinel responded to the error in a column calling the radio story “bizarre — and hugely inaccurate.”  In part, the Sentinel wrote in a Nov. 23 column:

“This strange story suggested the closure of the Daily Mail’s printing press in Etruria meant your favourite local newspaper would be leaving town. Nothing could be further from the truth.

“As you all know, The Sentinel has been North Staffordshire’s most trusted publisher of local news and information for more than 150 years. And we can confirm, that situation won’t be changing any time soon.”

On November 22, Sassi tweeted that “Sentinel is alive and kicking. Reports of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. By BBC Radio Stoke.”  He added that the report was “somewhat bizarre.”

Sassi also tweeted about the “disgraceful local BBC story” and the apology which he called “very mealy-mouthed.

According to the Sentinel, “the Daily Mail‘s printing press” will be closing, but it isn’t to affect the paper’s existence.  It wrote: “We certainly can’t see a day when The Sentinel will ever leave Stoke-on-Trent.”

iMediaEthics has written to BBC Stoke asking where the apology and any corrections were posted, how the error happened, and where the re-written story is posted. We’ve also asked the Sentinel if the newspaper is satisfied with the apology, why he declined to go on the BBC to “clarify” the BBC’s reporting, if the Sentinel was contacted prior to the report’s being aired and more. iMediaEthics will update with any response.

Hat Tip: Guardian Morning Newsletter

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BBC Radio Wrongly Reports Newspaper Closing, Newspaper Calls Story ‘Bizarre & Hugely Inaccurate’

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