in Stories

Herald refuses to apologise for chain of “lies”

The Herald refused to apologise after a series of stories which diplomats complained had been distorted arguing that newspapers throughout the world were not immune to making mistakes and The Herald was no exception.

The paper argued that there was a clear distinction between a mistake and publishing falsehoods.

“Any newspaper worth its salt knows that it is a cardinal sin to create fictitious stories, as this is detrimental to its credibility,” the paper said.

But it went on: “It is every newspaper's journalistic right to put into context, rightly or wrongly, statements made by public officials. There is nothing new in this.”

 

Full cable:

 

 

Viewing cable 03HARARE262, GOVERNMENT PAPER REFUSES TO APOLOGIZE FOR

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

03HARARE262

2003-02-06 10:26

2011-08-30 01:44

UNCLASSIFIED

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 000262

 

SIPDIS

 

DEPT FOR AF/PDPA FOR DALTON, MITCHELL AND SIMS

NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

LONDON FOR GURNEY

PARIS FOR NEARY

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: N/A

TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO KMDR ZI

SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT PAPER REFUSES TO APOLOGIZE FOR

DISTORTED REPORTING

 

 

1.   On January 25, UN WFP Envoy James Morris took the

government-owned "Herald" to task for gross distortions

in their report of his remarks after a January 24

meeting with Robert Mugabe. Morris characterized the

"Herald's" article as "100 percent lies."

 

2.   On January 29, Japan's Ambassador to Zimbabwe

wrote a letter to the "Herald" complaining bitterly of

the paper's "fabrications" and "misrepresentations" in

their January 28 report about his meeting with

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

 

3.   On February 4, U.S. Ambassador Sullivan wrote the

"Herald" to refute the paper's false account of his

effort to be allowed to observe the Morgan Tsvangirai

trial.

 

4.   On February 6, the "Herald" responded to this

string of journalistic mistakes with a defensive

editorial entitled "Mistakes are different from

falsehoods." Excerpts follow.

 

5.   "Newspapers throughout the world are not immune to

making mistakes and `The Herald' is no exception.

However, there is a clear distinction between a mistake

and publishing falsehoods. Any newspaper worth its

salt knows that it is a cardinal sin to create

fictitious stories, as this is detrimental to its

credibility. It is, indeed, normal for different

publications or broadcasters to make divergent

interpretations to a news event. It is in this regard

that `The Herald' takes great exception to attempts by

the discredited opposition mouthpiece, `The Daily

News,' to equate mistakes made by this newspaper to

lies published by `The Daily News. . .'

 

"It is every newspaper's journalistic right to

put into context, rightly or wrongly, statements

made by public officials. There is nothing new

in this. It is only foolishness or malice to

say our interpretation was a quote because it

clearly was not written as such. . . So we have

no apologies to make to either Ambassador Liyama

or Special Envoy Morris for doing our job as

journalists but it is their job to be

categorical when answering reporters' questions.

If either Special Envoy Morris or Ambassador

Liyama believe we have contravened any law, we

are ready to have that tested and determined in

a court of law and not on the pages of an

opposition newspaper."

 

SULLIVAN

(16 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHAREShare on Google+Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInEmail this to someonePrint this page

Write a Comment

Comment