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Paper Monitor

12:58 UK time, Wednesday, 19 October 2011

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor needs to correct something. It has been remiss in not discussing the Daily Mail's new clarifications and corrections section, which is now three days old.

Newspapers pride themselves on accuracy, so such a mea culpa column is not to be taken lightly.

It is the place where typos, factual mistakes and misleading statements are laid bare. It is a soul-destroying moment for most journalists and sub-editors when a story they have worked on ends up in such a place.

No other tabloid runs a regular column of that kind, although many upmarket papers do so.

Corrections in many tabloids are usually reduced to a nib, or news-in-brief, as it is known in the business. Of course the Sun has a very different take on the news-in-briefs...

Nearly buried, the Daily Mail's new column can be found nestling at the bottom of page two. There are three confessions today - the first one is pretty serious and involves an apology in court and the paper having to pay damages.

The third is small fry by comparison and did not cost them anything other than the ire of readers.

Yesterday's article about the terminally ill cabbie who chose to be mummified said that the Channel 4 documentary about him had been screened on Monday. In fact, it will be shown next Monday.

Its sister titles, the Mail on Sunday and Metro, are set to follow suit.

And the i, the Independent lite, has today announced it will start an "i was wrong" column on its letters page.

Here's a few of PM's favourite corrections and clarifications from the archive:
Guardian, 2003: "In our interview with Sir Jack Hayward, the chairman of Wolverhampton Wanderers, page 20, Sport, yesterday, we mistakenly attributed to him the following comment: "Our team was the worst in the First Division and I'm sure it'll be the worst in the Premier League." Sir Jack had just declined the offer of a hot drink. What he actually said was "Our tea was the worst in the First Division and I'm sure it'll be the worst in the Premier League." Profuse apologies."

Independent on Sunday, 2004: "Last week in these pages a serious error was committed when a sub-editor turned the great athlete Jesse Owens into a woman. Apologies to Ruth Elkins, our Berlin correspondent, whose original copy was correct."

The Sun, 2006: "Following our article on Princess Eugenie's birthday celebrations, we have been asked to point out the party was closely monitored by adults throughout, and while a small amount of mess was cleared away at the end of the evening, there was no damage to furniture, no revellers dived into bedrooms in search of drunken romps, and to describe the house as being trashed was incorrect. We are happy to make this clear."

Guardian, 2007: "We misspelled the word misspelled twice, as mispelled, in the Corrections and Clarifications column."

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