Tag Archives: Siobhain Butterworth

Guardian readers’ editor told that sub-editors are journalists

Not only does the Guardian’s media blogger Roy Greenslade have it in for the subs, but its readers’ editor, Siobhain Butterworth, inadvertently cut them out the profession in her column on Monday.

A correction from today’s Guardian:

“‘While journalists and subeditors are not expected to be multilingual’, said the weekly column of the readers’ editor, ‘they should put the right accents on names in all languages, where possible’. Subeditors are journalists. In trying to distinguish between the roles the column should have referred to writers/reporters and subeditors.”

Full correction at this link…

(Hat-tip: Press Gazette)

Guardian.co.uk: How the Guide fell for Banksy hoax

As reported in its corrections and clarifications last week the Guardian’s Guide interview on July 18 ‘purporting to be with Banksy’ [no longer available online] was in fact ‘conducted with someone impersonating the graffiti artist’.

Today, the readers’ editor, Siobhain Butterworth elaborates further, with a comment from the Guide’s editor Malik Meer and the freelance journalist who provided the piece, Rich Pelley (or Pelly, as it is spelt elsewhere on the Guardian site). An extract from Butterworth’s weekly column:

“(…)Meer also thought the responses matched the tone of the Guide’s back-page slot. “It’s that chatty banter style of interview,” he said. “Our stuff is a bit edgy and the page is set up to be cheeky and funny.” He adds: “There was no malicious intent on our part, we got conned and we held our hands up; in hindsight I should have put a call into the official PR and checked.”

“Before conducting the Guide’s Q&A Pelley did ask Banksy’s official spokeswoman for an interview – however, she didn’t agree to it. He was nevertheless confident that he was in contact with Banksy: “I really thought it was a genuine interview based on a comparison with the Times interview,” he told me. “I really feel I got busted. I’ve put up my hands and said sorry.”

Full article at this link…

Guardian.co.uk: Handling reader responses in a ‘digital age’

In her weekly column, the Guardian readers’ editor, Siobhain Butterworth, takes a look at newspapers’ handling of reader complaints and responses in the age of digital publishing.

She picks out a New York Times case: following the settlement of a libel action brought against it by a Washington lobbyist, the paper published a joint statement, an article from the lobbyist’s lawyers, a note to readers and a report about the settlement.

“What’s interesting and unusual about the Iseman case is that the negotiated resolution of her complaint included space on the paper’s website for her lawyers’ views about the lawsuit,” Butterworth comments.

Full story at this link…

Comment is Free: The Guardian readers’ editor on unpublishing

Siobhain Butterworth, the Guardian’s readers’ editor, discusses ‘unpublishing’ or responding to people’s requests to delete comments and articles online. ‘Should people who have gone to the trouble of putting themselves on the record be allowed to change or even erase it later?’

Guardian removes suicide bomb video after 550 complaints

The Guardian has removed a video from its website showing a suicide bomb attack in Israel after more than 550 complaints were made about the footage.

The piece, which was selected from a package of footage and text supplied to the paper by Reuters, showed the wounded being taken to hospital, as well as statements from the Palestinian agriculture minister and a Hamas spokesman. It was removed four days after being posted to the site.

Writing about the decision to remove the video from the site, Siobhain Butterworth, readers’ editor, says most traffic to the video came from the site Honest Reporting, which criticised the lack of an Israeli spokesperson in the footage.

In response Butterworth points out that at the time no Israeli sources featured in the Reuters package.

She also directs complainants, readers and Honest Reporting to the paper’s other online coverage of the event:

“Honest Reporting linked only to the video; it ignored the rest of the Guardian’s coverage. It didn’t mention that the story published on the day of the bombing (and which the video accompanied) began with comments from the Israeli prime minister and included statements from an eyewitness, a doctor at the scene and a police spokesman. Stories about the event in the following days also included statements from Israeli sources.”

However, with regards to the video in question, Butterworth admits there was ‘an editing error’, which may have lead to a perceived Palestinian bias. While this was the reason the piece was removed, this was not ‘a deliberate attempt to give a one-sided response to the event’, she adds.