Northern Echo publishes obit for man who is still alive - iMediaEthics

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The Northern Echo accidentally killed a man. At least in print.

The UK newspaper wrongly reported that a man named Charlie Donaghy died, devastating his family and friends. But, Donaghy is alive and well.

The Northern Echo published an apology for its premature obituary saying it had three independent sources telling the paper Donaghy had died.

The Nov. 10 apology reads:

“THIS morning, The Northern Echo’s website carried an obituary to Charlie Donaghy, a lifelong supporter of grassroots sport in the North-East.

However, we are pleased to be able to report that Mr Donaghy is alive and well.

“We checked with three independent sources, including a representative of at least one of the clubs Mr Donaghy worked with, who all confirmed the information, prior to it being published.

“We removed the story from our website and social media channels as soon as we were made aware that it was incorrect. We apologise unreservedly for our mistake, and for any understandable distress and devastation that was caused to Mr Donaghy, his family and friends.

“Mr Donaghy’s family issued a statement today: “We are devastated by the inaccuracy of this report. This has caused immeasurable distress for my sister as well to many of Dad’s friends and supporters over the years. To allow this to be released onto the internet without checking with our family is unforgivable. Please ensure this never happens to anyone else again as you cannot unhear or unread that your father is dead.”

iMediaEthics has written to the Echo to ask how the paper learned Donaghy was alive and who the three sources who said he was dead are.

Hat Tip: The Guardian

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Northern Echo publishes obit for man who is still alive

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