Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Daily Star deliberately misreports the Viola Beach crash

Friday morning, and an unequivocal front page from the Daily Star about the accident which killed the band Viola Beach:

It was, says the Star, deliberate. All over the front page.

Except... on the Star's website today, a very different story:
Swedish police now say they did not brake because they did not spot the barrier.

Crash footage has shown the car move to the left hand lane to overtake stationary traffic, before braking, then accelerating through a barrier.

Inspector Lars Berglund told the Mirror: "Maybe he had not discovered the barriers in front of those cars standing still.

"I have not suggested that [the driver] was doing this in order to kill himself or the band.

"I said he was making a move from the right lane to the left lane and that was not accidental."
In other words, the Swedish police said that the driver hadn't accidentally swerved, and the Daily Star chose to dress this up to make it sound like he'd chosen to drive off the bridge.

What a scummy thing to do.

The Star's website describes this new story in this way:
COPS have revealed why they believe tragic indie band Viola Beach's driver did not stop – clarifying reports the crash was deliberately caused.
Now, it's true that the policeman involved did use the word "deliberate", but if you're going to splash this on the front page, you might want to double-check your story. Especially since The Guardian's print edition - reporting on exactly the same press conference - managed to record the more lurid claim - "with some intent" - but still reported the story under a heading "Police blame 'inattention' for accident that killed Viola Beach members". Which is a fairer representation of what seems to have been said.

And does the Daily Star splash the correction over the front page this morning?
It does not.