Friday, January 23, 2009

NME admits Ronson-Winehouse story was toss - eventually

Kudos to the NME for admitting the story it ran unquestioningly about "prominent" British Jews being on a "terrorist hit list" was a pile of nothing, while The Sun, from whom they originally picked up the story, has quietly deleted it.

There is one hanging puzzle, though: it's not just why the NME simply copied a story when a more enquiring mind might have at least poked a curious finger into the Sun's claims. Even without knowing the strange, trolly background of The Sun's terrorist "expert" and the dubious nature of the original "threat" (taken to pieces deftly by Bloggerheads) a few seconds poking about online showed that there wasn't any serious threat at all.

But the really strange thing is why it's taken two weeks for the NME to get round to correcting its original story.


3 comments:

Olive said...

Anybody would think that the NME was staffed by people with poor journalistic instincts who didn't care about music.

Anonymous said...

"Even without knowing the strange, trolly background of The Sun's terrorist "expert" and the dubious nature of the original "threat" (taken to pieces deftly by Bloggerheads) a few seconds poking about online showed that there wasn't any serious threat at all."

but...simon hayes budgen (ex of nme, right?)...but...but...you didn't mention the bloggerheads link in your original piece did you? and it was only a few pokey seconds away right...

oh well. still love the blog. so keep on going. i spose.

simon h b said...

@anonymous
I did do some freelance stuff for them, yes, but never ascended to the giddy heights of staff.

You're right, I didn't see the bloggerheads stuff until someone posted it - but the bloggerheads stuff was a whole extra level of attack on the story. You didn't actually need to go beyond the original piece in The Sun to see that it was weak and based on someone copying and pasting a list of prominent British Jews to a website rather than a serious terrorist threat - that's why I said that even without knowing what bloggerheads reported, a bit of poking about took the story to pieces. Mostly involving reading the story in The Sun.

I didn't get as far as the Bloggerheads piece because having read the original piece - and done a quick search on their 'expert' - it seemed to be The Sun making up a story about a single post on a single website and getting some shouty bloke in to back it up with a weak-sounding quote. To be frank, even if the post hadn't been trolled up, even if it had been a 'real' terrorist who had stuck the message online, there was still no real threat; there was still no real story.

I wouldn't have expected anyone on the NME to have gone through the process of investigating the bona fides of the original poster to the message board, but was disappointed that nobody thought to approach the story with any degree of critical detachment. (As someone pointed in the comments here, they did say it was a story from The Sun, but that's hardly detachment.) At the very least, you'd have thought that it should have been run in their 'tabloid music story round-up' section rather than in the News section.

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