Daily Mail Backs Down over Blue Peter Headline
We’ve been saying for weeks that the article in the Daily Mail saying that Blue Peter had zero viewers for one “episode” in June was unfair, and now the paper seems to have agreed that the headline at least was wrong.
It all started when the Daily Mail published an article, the headline of which said that an edition (or “episode”) of Blue Peter got zero viewers. The article referred to the third repeat of a particular edition of the show that did register zero viewers but the previous showings of the programme that week got over 300,000 viewers in total. This particular repeat was on at 2.30 on a Tuesday afternoon during term-time!
We contacted them to challenge them on this, and waited for their response.
And finally we got two of them.
The first reply said “The article made it clear that the broadcast was a repeat and that it did not register any viewers via the BARB system used to measure audience ratings, which does not mean that there were no viewers at all, obviously. “
So “no viewers” “obviously” does not actually mean “no viewers” then.
The reply went on “The reporter also double-checked the figures with ‘Overnights’ – the company which supplies the numbers. They confirmed that having zero viewers on the system meant that literally no one in a BARB household had watched the broadcast.
The article specifically states that there may still have been some youngsters tuning in (i.e, because BARB is an imperfect system).”
We replied to this pointing out that the headline quite clearly says ““Children’s show once watched by millions had NO viewers for an episode”. That’s “episode” not “broadcast .
A few days later we were called by Katherine Rushton who wrote the original article, who basically said the same thing as the original reply, and that the article only referred to that broadcast of the programme, but when I pointed out that the headline said “episode” not “broadcast” she had no answer and said that she didn’t write the headline.
So that’s OK then!
A few more emails later also pointing out a factual inaccuracy that still exists in the article, we received the following reply:
“I am sure you will appreciate that newspaper headlines need to be read in conjunction with the article. In this case, the article itself makes clear that the broadcast was a repeat and that it did not register any viewers via the BARB system used to measure audience ratings, which does not mean that there were no viewers at all.
Whilst we cannot agree that the article is inaccurate, if it would resolve your concerns, we would be willing – as a gesture of goodwill – to replace ‘an episode’ with ‘a broadcast’ in the headline.”
So a partial result anyway. At least now the headline is more correct than it used to be. No mention of the challenge we made to write a POSITIVE article about all the good things Blue Peter does and they didn’t reply to several invitations to come onto the show and explain themselves, but at least they did eventually listen -shame it took 2 months of Bonehead of the Week awards to get them to take any notice.
There is by the way still a factual inaccuracy in the article which has also been pointed out now on 5 occasions, but I guess you can’t have everything.
- Daily Mail Backs Down over Blue Peter Headline September 18, 2017
- The Sound of Sunday Challenges Daily Mail over Blue Peter Headline August 16, 2017
- Back for Series 27 June 28, 2017
- A Day of Magic in Alton June 10, 2017
- Remembering John Noakes with Blue Peter Director/Producer Alex Leger June 4, 2017