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Does old media really factcheck?

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  • mutiple news orgs repeat James Lawless claim that Independent Ministers haven't appeared in SCU ads, but did Shane Ross not do so in Rugby World Cup bid video? https://www.facebook.com/FineGael/videos/10155605244888211/ fb video

    IT
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/fianna-f%C3%A1il-proposes-new-law-to-regulate-political-advertising-1.3324526#.Wi_puBVuzvg.twitter



    Irihs Examiner http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/fianna-fail-td-james-lawless-wants-legislation-to-crack-down-on-fake-twitter-bots-464326.html


    which was from the SCU https://www.kildarestreet.com/wrans/?id=2017-11-14a.152&s=rugby+world+cup+video+and+strategic+communications+unit#g154.r


    If I bumped on this why didn't the reporters who were probably paying more attention to this Rugby world cup business then I was.


    A Sunday Times Editor said of the orignal story I was querying above.


    but readers often can't judge something unitl its cleared up, James Lawless did respond to one query I had on his bill but won't reply to a further question.





    but thats what we depend on newspaper to do, they don't always get an answer but they have more leverage to do so then readers. (again its ok to report what a politician says on the day if you follow it up soon after.)
    here we go, I reread the story becuase I knew I find something else wrong


    Fianna F TD James Lawless wants legislation to crack down on fake Twitter bots Elaine Loughlin Irish Examiner December 13, 2017
    “If the same thing was done on radio it would actually be illegal under Section 38 of the Broadcasting Acts”
    Which section 38 of Which Broadcating Act? Section 38 of the 2009 and consolidated Broadcasting Acts don't seem relevant.

    James Lawless TD told me he was refferring to Section 41(3) of the Broadcasting Act, 2009 not section 38.
    (3) A broadcaster shall not broadcast an advertisement which is directed towards a political end or which has any relation to an industrial dispute.
    so did the TD mistate the section number, did she mishear? Either way why didn't she check it? and if anyone else had read her article before it was published surely they would have looked up section 38 and asked what section 38 is relevant to this story? this must be wrong and the reporter should have checked with the TD or changed the line if she misheard.
    I emailed the reporters and paper not resposne from either, no correction in the newspaper.

    How is fair on readers for newspapers not to double check things.

    Update: now stealth corrected :/ now what about his other claim about no Independent Ministers being featured?




  • On another note of not fact checking

    Lynda McQuaid left TV3 in 2016 following just 8 or so months at the channel, her wage at her new post as a ministerial adviser was based on her wage at TV3 yet she seems to have only taken up the job in mid-2017. Journalist who wrote the story about her appointment seemed to miss this fact entirely!




  • Elmo wrote: »
    On another note of not fact checking

    Lynda McQuaid left TV3 in 2016 following just 8 or so months at the channel, her wage at her new post as a ministerial adviser was based on her wage at TV3 yet she seems to have only taken up the job in mid-2017. Journalist who wrote the story about her appointment seemed to miss this fact entirely!

    Im not sure the reporter mistated any facts, it was her former job even if it wasn't her immediate former job. It would certainly add to the story to point that out, we could do with seeing the FOI'd docs to see how they phrased it.

    She was running McQuaid Productions in between that time https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynda-mcquaid/ one might be able to find out what she was paying herself.

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/junior-minister-lands-13k-salary-hike-for-her-new-press-adviser-36457397.html




  • Im not sure the reporter mistated any facts, it was her former job even if it wasn't her immediate former job. It would certainly add to the story to point that out, we could do with seeing the FOI'd docs to see how they phrased it.

    She was running McQuaid Productions in between that time https://www.linkedin.com/in/lynda-mcquaid/ one might be able to find out what she paying herself.

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/politics/junior-minister-lands-13k-salary-hike-for-her-new-press-adviser-36457397.html

    No, I don't think the facts are misstated but I feel that it does raise questions when The 13k extra is based on a salary that she had not received in the last year and half or so, Feb 2016 to Aug 2017. I often wondered why she left TV3 so soon after taking up the position.




  • Elmo wrote: »
    No, I don't think the facts are misstated but I feel that it does raise questions when The 13k extra is based on a salary that she had not received in the last year and half or so, Feb 2016 to Aug 2017. I often wondered why she left TV3 so soon after taking up the position.

    Maybe it was a coincidence, but it was in or around the time Virgin bought TV3?


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  • John Halligan not cut out to be a Minister https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/john-halligan-not-cut-out-to-be-a-minister-1.3285875 Irish Times

    Noel Whelan writes
    "He doesn’t have any legally delegated function."

    What are these then?
    http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/ResultsAll.html?q=john+halligan+delegation&search_type=all


    noelwhelan‏Verified account @noelwhelan 10 Nov 2017
    Replying to @lostexpectation
    I stand corrected,


    the author has admitted he factually is wrong and yet they still won't correct it




  • Sunday Business Post example: SBP reported that Ceann Comharile has asked a former secretary general of Department of Agriculture Michael Dowling to review legislation system. Dail Calls Kerry Group Chair to Break Logjam May 2017. https://www.businesspost.ie/politics/dail-calls-kerry-group-chair-break-law-logjam-3877822 I emailed the Ceann Comahairle offices they said they never heard of him. I told that to the reporter and the article was just deleted not corrected or clarified.

    Now the author did DM me and say his sources told him something and he reported it, so he stands over that, which is fine, so why was it deleted? why not just clarify it or do a follow up story?




  • http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/ross-drink-driving-crackdown-to-be-blocked-by-fianna-f%C3%A1il-1.2984149
    Feb 22, 2017, 01:00 Sarah Bardon
    Mr O’Donovan is the only Minister of State not to have delegated powers
    afaik Eoghan Murphy had/has not been either, other wise it would appear here Irish Statute Book http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/ResultsSI.html?q_title=Delegation+of+Ministerial+Functions&q=Eoghan+Murphy&search_type=si

    but they refuse to correct it.




  • After spotting another mistake in a newspaper ( which they corrected) I got into a discussion about factchecking with the editor asking them to explain the process used to prevent mistakes. He said there were 5 people in the process, but generally it seems only one person is really expected to factcheck and thats the journalist, which is fine but people are human and even if they double check themselves, they still might miss something.

    So journalists are supposed to note that something has been "CQ'd" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadit_quaestio meaning that is checked out enough to be in no doubt, so the sub-editors and editors generally accept that? I don't know if there are further subsidiary notes added to that, eg checked org website, spoke to person? [which they apparently did and got a quote but somehow the article stated they were in a party they had just left and they were Councillor when they had been only a local area rep]. So either the sub presumed that having spoken to the person their facts must be correct or somebody up the line added in the incorrect information about the party position without checking back with the reporter?

    Is what lacking here a triple check of calling the party?

    Surely you need a second pairs of eyes, a second brain on something to be really certain.




  • Well when RTÉ think the General Election of 1918 was the first 32 county election you’d wonder.


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  • Yes this is blog post of mine but I posting because I would like an answer to the question.


    Why did multiple newspapers write that Denis O'Brien is a "majority shareholder" of INM?

    I first noticed an issue in the Broadsheet post Mistake in Look Hack in Anger. [Broadsheet don't factcheck their posts so its no surprise that they might get something wrong.]
    July 19, 2014:- Mr Rae, in his role as group editor of INM, orders the presses to be stopped to amend a column written by Sunday Independent editor Anne Harris which features references to Denis O’Brien.

    Copies of the original article did however appear, allowing comparisons between the two. Harris originally wrote: “Denis O’Brien is the majority shareholder in INM. In theory, with 29% of the shares, he does not control it. In practice, he does.” The last sentence was deleted.
    29% isn't a majority... and I've been told that publically listed companies cannot have majority shareholders, and that Denis O'Brien keeps his shareholdings at 29.9% so it can't be said he controls the company and doesn't have to make a bid for it all?

    I searched Wikipedia article on Denis O'Brien and noticed that same sentence.

    The Wikipedia articles cited the Guardian article Mistake in Irish newspaper editor's column was changed after going to press by Roy Greenslade 28 Jul 2014, It said,
    Version one - Harris wrote: "Denis O'Brien is the majority shareholder in INM. In theory, with 29% of the shares, he does not control it. In practice, he does."

    But copies of Harris's original column did make it on to the street and the differences between the two versions were spotted by Gavin Sheridan, who pictured them and then posted them here on thestory.ie website.
    Gavin Sheridan's post Why was this Anne Harris Sunday Independent column modified? from 20th July 2014 which shows photos of two versions of the article that was changed, both versions say major shareholder not majority shareholder.

    So the Guardian cited Gavin's post with the photos but misquoted them, I suspect some of the above were misled by this.

    I emailed the Guardian, they asked me as the article was four years old why I was highlighted it to them now, I was surprised they didn't know, so I sent them the Irish Independents own Q&A on the allegations that the chairman of the company secretly read his journalist/employees emails and that this was paid for by a company owned by Denis O'Brien.

    Guardian has not corrected their mistake.

    I emailed Broadsheet and they corrected their post Mistake in Look Hack in Anger

    I corrected the wikipedia articles on Denis O'Brien, Anne Harris and Stephen Rae which all said majority citing the Guardidan article which cites Gavein Sheridans blog.

    On the April 2 2018 Times Ireland published an article INM journalists threaten lawsuit over data breach by Peter O’Dwyer | Lise Hand that said,
    Some journalists had covered the Moriarty tribunal and had written stories critical of Denis O’Brien before he became the company’s majority shareholder.
    I emailed them about it and they changed it to
    Some journalists had covered the Moriarty tribunal and had written stories critical of Denis O’Brien before he became the company’s largest single shareholder.
    In the Irish Times Who are the Independent News & Media 19 by Colin Gleeson it said
    Denis O’Brien, the group’s majority shareholder, voted against his retention.
    I emailed them and asked was this right?

    An Irish Times editor replied that I was correct and he corrected the article, but there are many other instances of this in the Irish Times will they all be corrected? Another recent example.

    Denis v Goliath’: O’Brien’s battle against alleged reputational damage Fri, Apr 6, 2018 Colm Keena
    "At one stage, O’Brien was the majority shareholder in INM "
    he was?

    The Irish Times Gavin O’Reilly says INM data breach claims ‘stomach-churning’ Apr 8, 2018 by Ronan McGreevy says
    Mr O’Reilly is the son of Sir Anthony O’Reilly, who was once INM’s majority shareholder.
    was he?

    The Journal has an article Explainer: What on earth is going on at INM?
    Communicorp is almost wholly owned by Denis O’Brien, who is also the majority shareholder at INM.
    By the time I checked it they had already corrected it on thejournal but not on their sister business site Fora. It has now been corrected.
    " Communicorp is almost wholly owned by Denis O’Brien, who is also the largest shareholder at INM."
    In the Irish Examiner there are less recent incidences of Denis O'Brien being desrcibed as a majority shareholder.

    The Sunday Businness Post

    Standing up in INM: The equivalent of war by Anne Harris writes
    On the night of Saturday, July 19, 2014, there was a dramatic intervention, mid-publication, to remove four words from an article written by me, as editor of the Sunday Independent. “Denis O’Brien is the majority shareholder at INM. In theory with 29 per cent of the shares, he does not control it,” I wrote. “In practice, he does.” O’Brien has always denied he controls INM.
    Those four little words, “In practice, he does”, were the reason the paper was held up.
    Did she really write majority shareholder? Can Anne Harris herself (or the editors of her article) have misquoted her own article?

    The Sunday Business Post hasn't replied or corrected the article yet.

    Irish Mirror


    Irish Mirror joins list of newspapers calling Denis O'Brien the majority shareholder in INM

    Why has such a crucial point about the Denis O'Brien been published seemingly incorrectly by so many news media organisations? and how has it gone unnoticed for so long?




  • Firstly, well done on the research and communicating with the various publications - regardless of the outcome.


    'how has it gone unnoticed' - I don't think its gone unnoticed - just unchecked. It's slack-arse journalism that's allowed that expression to become the norm for his ownership.


    Strangely I saw another example of how the term "majority' has become a term to mean (wrongly) the largest. In a wikipedia page it says 'O'Brien owns a majority of Ireland's radio stations' - which is clearly wrong.


    So, clearly, theres a way to go to (re) educate journalists on the proper use of expressions.


    (many moons ago I happened to be in a UK newspaper. They had very particular standards and part of that standard was a 'style guide'. A reference guide for Journalists/subs as to how the paper should 'speak'. It was really informative and would have dealt with issues like the above)




  • IRE60 wrote: »
    Firstly, well done on the research and communicating with the various publications - regardless of the outcome.


    'how has it gone unnoticed' - I don't think its gone unnoticed - just unchecked. It's slack-arse journalism that's allowed that expression to become the norm for his ownership.


    Strangely I saw another example of how the term "majority' has become a term to mean (wrongly) the largest. In a wikipedia page it says 'O'Brien owns a majority of Ireland's radio stations' - which is clearly wrong.


    So, clearly, theres a way to go to (re) educate journalists on the proper use of expressions.


    (many moons ago I happened to be in a UK newspaper. They had very particular standards and part of that standard was a 'style guide'. A reference guide for Journalists/subs as to how the paper should 'speak'. It was really informative and would have dealt with issues like the above)
    I've tried to research style guides and they don't really seem to cover factchecking...majority is not an expression,its a technical term. This is the most crucial issue in Ireland in media for decades, how much control Denis O'Brien has of media?, how can these experienced journalists get it wrong? I do wonder if they wrote it correctly and some sub-editor went and changed it ?



    As I said in post 40 http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/crd.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.boards.ie%2Fvbulletin%2Fshowthread.php%3Ft%3D2057576388%26goto%3Dnewpost%26zxf%3D1544837753%26utm_source%3Dnotification%26utm_medium%3Demail%26utm_campaign%3Dnotification&d=OHwgn6F66CMVB46EccBJ_vRDl_7gZap5IEQ5Amns7OfNxkD5GeK3kUt2ryBBRvKA3zPO1R2_YKdzc7-9fcpCo9ZT4fh-dGjzSkKSLtqCVO31O6r3SiUk8RxMZG6FP9lFjEiZlml5sekHr0V2ZQ8zlxKa-INAPwtyFhV6EWEmzJPsOwmeg6yJlutJwfrAytSXtsrM0CeW4pwhvRzBaPrXBSpempE1EykbWJ17azAt1xQka-qv2QE0CzHRUwp0vI5eTIgQEjsFWR0hGb7Rp91yumoYg7QzTpnE36wihhAmaVr5G4vXU-PXTeVyFZV2qAR4Fn_KRjXQDMGhqG9iINuSN5js0amH_XnBRf4ADxhsbPIwsRxWonFjdkDx I asked and searched for what the process is to prevent errors, I havn't found anything really they told me that 5 people across the story, all I was told was the sub-editors would "spot errors" but spotting errors seems very loose, it sounds like they are winging it, I would prefer if they checked the story, I just can't find what in the good old days of newspapers did to prevent errors (in daily/weekly news) that these same newspapers are not doing now.


    I did find this page on factchecking check lists aimed at journalist, but still a journalist can miss something so surely the newspaper they are working for should have its own process of factchecking. https://guides.lib.jjay.cuny.edu/c.php?g=618074&p=4300850




  • There is a severe lack of use of the term plurality here. Had an argument with a drunk FF canvasser once insisting they had a "majority" in the 2014 LE - on 25.5%. They had a clear plurality, but were barely halfway to a majority.

    I'm not sure how valid it is to use it for non-voting circumstances really; but it certainly can apply to share ownership that entails voting rights. If we need a word for someone having a large, important but not majority position in other circumstances I think its probably the most suitable.




  • Copy n paste all the time :



    The SUV, which could possibly be a Toyoto Land Cruiser, travelled in the direction of Cootehill or Carrickmacross. -

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/atm-stolen-from-wall-of-bank-by-digger-in-the-early-hours-37630639.html



    The digger was towed to the scene by a tractor and trailer while a large SUV, possibly a Toyoto Land Cruiser -

    https://www.buzz.ie/news/garda-investigation-launched-atm-stolen-wall-digger-310449




    if that is getting copied, you'd wonder about a lot of other stuff




  • gctest50 wrote: »
    Copy n paste all the time :



    The SUV, which could possibly be a Toyoto Land Cruiser, travelled in the direction of Cootehill or Carrickmacross. -

    https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/news/atm-stolen-from-wall-of-bank-by-digger-in-the-early-hours-37630639.html



    The digger was towed to the scene by a tractor and trailer while a large SUV, possibly a Toyoto Land Cruiser -

    https://www.buzz.ie/news/garda-investigation-launched-atm-stolen-wall-digger-310449
    is buzz.ie old media?




  • it was a few other places




  • gctest50 wrote: »
    it was a few other places


    they are repeating a gardai description,thats fair enough, they could more explicitly say that, but whats that go to do with fact checking? theres highly unlikely to be another source...




  • L1011 wrote: »
    There is a severe lack of use of the term plurality here. Had an argument with a drunk FF canvasser once insisting they had a "majority" in the 2014 LE - on 25.5%. They had a clear plurality, but were barely halfway to a majority.

    I'm not sure how valid it is to use it for non-voting circumstances really; but it certainly can apply to share ownership that entails voting rights. If we need a word for someone having a large, important but not majority position in other circumstances I think its probably the most suitable.
    take one of the sentences from the above articles and use it, why is it better them major shareholder? especially when in the article you could have references to "media plurality".




  • take one of the sentences from the above articles and use it, why is it better them major shareholder? especially when in the article you could have references to "media plurality".

    It implies more control/power than "major shareholder" does; that is effectively what they are trying to say by being completely factually inaccurate.


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  • L1011 wrote: »
    It implies more control/power than "major shareholder" does; that is effectively what they are trying to say by being completely factually inaccurate.
    ok but I still don't think it applies to the above sentence. Does Roy Greenslade, Colm Keena, Colin Gleeson, Ronan McGreevy, Peter O'Dwyer, Sean Murray and Anne Harris all not know writing "Denis O'Brien is majority shareholder of INM is wrong"? its just doesn't make sense.. what is going on? Im not the most business minded person and I spotted it.
    Funnily enough now searching styleguide AND majority vs plurality gets few hits https://sites.google.com/site/heraldstyleguide/ https://archive.org/stream/pdfy-t5_427WX1jE8GyCg/DI_Style_Manual_djvu.txt




  • I'd say there's a lot of copying and assuming the first writer was right going on for the non-Irish ones. For the domestic writers - deliberately inaccurate to pander perhaps?




  • L1011 wrote: »
    I'd say there's a lot of copying and assuming the first writer was right going on for the non-Irish ones. For the domestic writers - deliberately inaccurate to pander perhaps?
    considering Roy Greenslade lives in Donegal half the time they are all domestic.




  • L1011 wrote: »
    deliberately inaccurate to pander perhaps?

    No - lazy, sloppy and ilinformed. Once one of them used it, it simply became the 'norm'




  • IRE60 wrote: »
    No - lazy, sloppy and ilinformed. Once one of them used it, it simply became the 'norm'
    but we're told these are legacy media who do things right atleast two of them have paywalls? do they not have processes to prevent errors? how would a newspaper prevented these errors in the good old days?




  • but we're told these are legacy media who do things rights atleast two of them have paywalls? do they not have processes to prevent errors? how would a newspaper prevented these errors in the good old days?

    In my opinion - better resources and better trained staff back when print was king

    (As an aside if you want to see how it should work watch the film 'brights lights, big city')




  • IRE60 wrote: »
    In my opinion - better resources and better trained staff back when print was king

    (As an aside if you want to see how it should work watch the film 'brights lights, big city')


    is factchecking for magazines as in the film, not different, you have a much longer amount of time, compared to daily news.



    Take this example https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showpost.php?p=108763117&postcount=40 The Times Ireland wrote that a person was member of the Labour party when he had resigned from the party a month before, (I found this out by scrolling down his Facebook page and seeing his resignation letter) would you have done more checking then the Times did? He was still listed on the Labour website as an area rep, so you could forgive the reporter, but the article actually said he was Councillor, which he never was, would you have rung the Labour party to triple check he was still a member?, Its very strange that they wrote he was a member of the Labour party while also seeming to have gotten an unique quote directly from him!? https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/dublin-city-scrooges-scrap-lights-ceremony-9tb69w6fw

    The Times editor said that newspapers are produced at a certain speed but this wasn't a time dependent story it was just about not having one big Christmas lighting ceremony in Dublin, there was no need to rush.




  • The Labour site has a particular issue with how old pages are removed - the pages will still exist, just with no links from the site and search engines don't forget they exist. With proper search terms you'll probably find the entire Social Democrats party bar Murphy there.

    Its one of the older party sites out there core functionality wise (press releases back to 2000 for some reps etc) so would have some design choices from before the era of search engines actually working.

    So a basic check to see what "credentials" someone has could easily return outdated content; but confusing an LAR for a councillor is not something any journalist should ever do.




  • L1011 wrote: »
    The Labour site has a particular issue with how old pages are removed - the pages will still exist, just with no links from the site and search engines don't forget they exist. With proper search terms you'll probably find the entire Social Democrats party bar Murphy there.

    Its one of the older party sites out there core functionality wise (press releases back to 2000 for some reps etc) so would have some design choices from before the era of search engines actually working.

    So a basic check to see what "credentials" someone has could easily return outdated content; but confusing an LAR for a councillor is not something any journalist should ever do.

    it wasn't a case of an old page turning up from a search, https://www.labour.ie/search/?q=darryl+o%27callaghan he was listed on their people page as a Local Area Rep, it simply wasn't removed despite him having resigned (until I emailed them and told the of the confusion it was causing not to have deleted it yet).

    well I would forgive somebody perhaps absently minded writing Councillor instead of local area rep, but the Times Ireland editor told me the story went through 4 other people before it was published and none of them apparently spotted them stating somebody who wasn't a Councillor was a Councillor, I presume most of them live and work in Dublin and even if they didn't shouldn't there be some process for fact-checking this is what I've yet to find out.


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  • but the Times Ireland editor told me the story went through 4 other people before it was published and none of them apparently spotted them stating somebody who wasn't a Councillor was a Councillor

    You'd have to wonder where the buck stops. The primary source of data in an article would be from the journalist. So, what then is the role of those on the backbench - primarily the sub who is tasked to shoehorn the story into a given space - assigned by the chief-sub/page designer - and craft a headline in a given space.

    So, if the article has some 'fact' - 'Joe Bloggs, a Labour Councillor' - does the sub down tools and hit the Labour website to verify this? or 'Joe Bloggs, 45' - does he do a wiki search to verify the birthday? Where does the line of trust exist between the reporter and the sub?

    If a sub saw 'Joe Bloggs, a convicted fraudster' - I think he'd flag that for verification from the reporter as that would if incorrect fall into the realms of the Golden Arches.

    Again another anecdote: I was in a production environment ensuring that pages made their way to pre-press in an orderly and timely fashion. I noticed that a solicitor had recalled a page already past pre-press, so i had to take issue with this. Solicitor wanted a line rewritten in a story about an accident on the Quays.

    The line we had read (roughly) that a car collided with a Bus. The line change requested (and changed) was that 'the car and the bus were in a collision'. Its up to the courts, not the paper, to apportion blame- which we had done in the first instance. Should the sub have caught that? Is that a 'fact check


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