Now the Daily Mail is twisting MY words about ChildLine
I wrote yesterday about the Daily Mail's initial online reporting of a ChildLine survey into the types of calls they had been receiving from children in 2005/6.
I also took the time to post a comment on the Daily Mail's story, making the same point - namely that their reporting had extrapolated a conclusion from the figures that wasn't supported by the evidence. At no point in their report or press release did ChildLine claim that suicidal 5 year olds had phoned the service. However "Suicidal five-year-olds calling helpline" was the headline that the Mail chose to use.
The Daily Mail published my comment on their site.
Well, sort of.
This is what they published:
If you actually read the report ChildLine issued, it does not say that suicidal five year olds called ChildLine. It says that there were 42 phone calls by children between the ages of 5 AND 11. The other 96% of suicidal calls were by children 12 and over - which whilst it is still very sad.
- Martin Belam, Salzburg, Austria
Sadly, I appear to trail off mid-sentence. What I actually submitted was:
The other 96% of suicidal calls were by children 12 and over - which whilst it is still very sad is nowhere near the picture of suicidal 5 year olds portrayed in this article.
For some reason, the last part of my sentence, criticising the Daily Mail's reporting, didn't make it through the pre-moderation of comments on the site.
Of course, checking the terms and conditions of the site reveals that I gave Associated New Media the right to:
royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed for the full term of any Rights that may exist in such Content.
I can't help but be annoyed though, that by truncating the end of the last sentence from my message, they have significantly changed the meaning. It now looks like I am complaining about the ignorance of fellow contributors to the site, not the standard of the Mail's journalism, and it makes my grammar look even worse than usual. All still attributed directly to me.
Perhaps next time I should just post as "Disgusted of Salzburg" instead?