At the end of July The Sun picked up a ‘story’ which had appeared on the Facebook page of a mother from Shropshire. The woman had posted a photograph of the boy with a curious mark on his torso. The Sun somehow managed to turn this inconsequential ‘news’ into a front-page lead with a photograph of the boy’s face, bare chest and a tendentious headline: ‘Boy, 4, has mark of devil’.
The paper even gave details of the child’s medical history – he has a rare disease – and named him and his primary school. Although it was clear that the boy’s parents had cooperated with The Sun, it was clearly outrageous breach of the child’s privacy and put him at risk of mockery and bullying.
Yesterday The Sun, following a complaint by Dr Sarah Wollaston MP, admitted it had got it wrong and would be changing its procedures regarding children. They also promised to publish an acknowledgement that they got it wrong.
Today we got the admission and the publication. The original story was page 1, the apology is page 2. For your ease we’ve put the two side-by-side (see picture).
Is the contrition comparable to the original offence? We’ll let you compare and make your own mind up.
You can read our original analysis of the story here.