The Daily Mail making up quotes about Amanda Knox furore

Now because we now know Knox and her male accomplice no one cares about were in fact released it is clear that the prosecutors did not say any of these things. The Daily Mail was intending to use a piece with fabricated quotes in other words- doing a Hari as it were.

So either the reporter- Nick Pisa- made them up off his own bat or the Daily Mail routinely make things up for the sake of a better story.

No, not quite.

I mean, OK, yes, that could indeed have happened. But there is another explanation.

\”Hello Mr. Prosecutor, I\’m from the Mail. Would you say that \”Justice has been done\” although as a \”human factor it was sad two young people would be spending years in jail\” given the recent verdict of guilty?

\”You would? Oh good. for that\’s what my article already has in it.\”

Now you might think this is naughty (and you certainly might think it implausible thatthis is the actual explanation) but it is by no means unheard of to write the quote and then go out and find someone to say it.

In PR you do it all the time of course: you\’re forever phoning up people to tell them what they\’ve just said to the press. Journalism perhaps less so but it\’s not, as I say, unknown.


9 thoughts on “The Daily Mail making up quotes about Amanda Knox furore”

  1. Yes something like that is one of the basics of interview technique. You listen to your subject ramble on for a long time. Then you put to them what they said to you but in one simple sentence and they more or less echo that sentence back to you.

  2. That is probably true in many cases, but I don’t think that this could have happened here.

    The Mail seems to have rushed the story out as soon as the Italian for guilty was uttered in court, before realising that it referred to the lesser charge of defaming Patrick Luamba not the murder.

    Unless the prosecutors made the same mistake, it is surely not likely that they would have expressed their agreement with the sentiments if they were put to them by a reporter.

  3. Not sure what happened, but it does make me wonder about the value of releasing a news story early in this day and age..

    1) Someone releases a story.
    2) Google news picks up on it
    3) Twitter goes ballistic
    4) Lots of links/adwords clicks

    and if you get it wrong then what’s the outcome? At worst a slap on the wrist from the PCC.

  4. Yup, it’s a non-story.

    Seems to have been sparked by paranoid loon Tim Ireland early this morning, and picked up by his coterie of ‘OMG! Isn’t Murdoch just AWFUL?!’ hangers-on…

  5. It wasn’t started by Tim Ireland, people were talking about it last night on Twitter long before everyone’s favourite fruitloop jumped aboard.

    I don’t see how what Daily Mail have done here is different to what Jayson Blair was sacked for or what Johann Hari was forced to take a vacation in the States for.

  6. Ah, was it? First I heard of it was on Twitter…

    “I don’t see how what Daily Mail have done here is different to what Jayson Blair was sacked for or what Johann Hari was forced to take a vacation in the States for.”

    Well, they clearly didn’t intend this version to be published, for a start!

  7. No, there is no other explanation. It is inconceivable that the prosecutors could have expressed satisfaction with a verdict which went against them, regardless of what words might have been suggested to them.

    But the proof is in the pudding – the Mail retracted the entire story (without quite saying so, of course).

  8. Pingback: Tim Ireland rather needs to calm down

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