It appears last week’s guidance from the PCC on correcting URLs as well as the contents of stories has not reached The Sun. Serene Branson’s on-air slurring was initially mocked by the tabloid with the headline “Grammy’s reporter goes gaga”. When it emerged that the presenter may have* suffered from a stroke the article was rewritten – but not the URL:
The Daily Record, meanwhile, have changed their URL as well as the headline (or their content management system has done it for them). 3am haven’t changed anything (see image at top).
A further issue occurs here too: comments posted on the original Sun story remain, but now – under a now more sober report – these appear insensitive.
More recent commenters can be seen criticising these older comments, and without any notice on the article that it has been updated, those commenting under their real names could argue that their reputations are being damaged as a result.
Certainly there’s an ethical issue here: if you change a story so substantially that original comments now no longer apply, should you remove them?
Via Dave Lee, whose post ‘Serene Branson: The disturbing viral that shames us all‘ should also be read.
*UPDATE: The station website says she was examined by paramedics but not hospitalized. “Her vital signs were normal” and “she says that she is feeling fine this morning”.