|New Idea apologizes|
|Written by Professor David Flint AM|
|Thursday, 13 March 2008|
New Idea has apologized, belatedly, for breaking a media embargo on Prince Harry's frontline deployment in Afghanistan. The editors obviously realised that their defence that they didn’t know of the embargo was making things worse for them.
It says it is sorry it was not "alert to the possible ramifications" of running the story.
The full page report, “War Lord,” was published with pictures in New Idea on page 22 on 12 January, 2008 ,( see above) with an invitation to go to the magazine’s website.
The earlier story that the information about Afghanistan only being on the website is not correct.
The magazine story is quite explicit. It opens:
“Prince Harry bites the bullet and goes to war- against the wished of his family and royal advisers.
“Maverick Prince Harry has joined his regiment on a covert mission to Afghanistan and his unit has already seen front line action.”
Fortunately the Taliban do not subscribe to New Idea. It was only noticed when the US Drudge Report website sent the story around the world.
The Taliban claimed they knew, but only Mark Day swallowed that. "We did not knowingly breach any embargo and were not party to any agreement for a media blackout on the story," New Idea declares. We could not find the apology on the New Idea site, but saw the summary on the News Limited site, “New Idea says sorry for Harry story,” posted on 10 March 2008.
"However, and more importantly, we do acknowledge that our actions in publishing the story can be reasonably viewed as insensitive and irresponsible." The magazine said it acknowledged and regretted "the distress and anxiety felt by readers" over the revelations. "We regret this serious lapse of judgment," it says.
"We sincerely apologise to all our readers, to the servicemen whose lives are at constant risk while serving at home and abroad and to their families and loved ones."
What it does show is how out of touch one curmudgeon correspondent to my piece on Crikey, Steven McKiernan, who insisted, in a spew of vulgar abuse, that ” No-one cares” (12 March)
Well, Mr. McKiernan, the young bloggers to the Telegraph do – and this was just a selection from the reaction in just one newspaper.
Chrissy said New Idea deals in scandal and trash.
Chris Sharpe called for New Idea to be” heavily fined....they carelessly placed a member of the royal family in great danger.”
When we pointed out that Mark Day’s ludicrous appalling allegation that the Royal Family leaked the story that Prince harry was in Afhanistan, and should have declared his interest as a senior member of the republican nomenklatura, fellow republican royal watcher Barry Everingham rushed to his defence.
“Barry Everingham (Letters, 8-9/3) claims I called on Mark Day to name his source for the story on the royal family leaking information about Prince Harry being in Afghanistan.
As so many people have said to me, the idea that any member of the Royal Family would endanger the Prince is preposterous.
Mark Day had nothing to say in his next column on 13 March 2008 - no explanation, no apology, no declaration of a confict of interest.
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