Woman’s Day magazine in Australia falsely reported Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s “marriage is over.” That was a breach of press guidelines, the Australian Press Council found.
Woman’s Day‘s May 2019 front-page headline proclaimed, “Palace confirms the marriage is over! Why Harry was left with no choice but to end it.” And the accompanying article claimed, “This is the final straw! Bombshell revelations about Meghan push a distraught Harry to breaking point.” Furthermore, the article claimed the royal couple were splitting up after “new revelations” about Meghan Markle’s past.
The press council reported it received a complaint about the article. The magazine argued it was only publishing “light entertainment” and readers wouldn’t think they are reporting straight news.
Further, Woman’s Day claimed it shouldn’t be held to the same standards as news media and readers know headlines are exaggerated.
While the press council agreed celebrity magazines don’t always publish “factual” claims and offer “light entertainment,” the article’s headline was “blatantly incorrect and not supported by the article’s content.”
The council also noted the headline was misleading, and ruled the magazine broke standards for accuracy and fairness and balance. Despite that, Woman’s Day doesn’t have to publish a correction since the Palace didn’t complain, the press council ruled.
iMediaEthics has written to Woman’s Day.