Here at Clareville, like many PR agencies we receive all the national newspapers every day, this is so we can completely understand where the best place for our clients’ stories to go, can get to know the journalists and their style and the type of features they like to write. We also like to have hard copies for the coverage we do get so we can send it on to our clients and add it to our portfolios
In doing this, we can see the way in which the same stories are written for specific audiences, with the stereotypical sensationalist slant usually dominating the tabloid versions of events, and usually a more detached “objective” stance from the (not so) broadsheets. Yesterday, the same story about the three marines murdering a prisoner (awful) was in nearly every paper, bar the Express, and the same quote was used in many of them: “There you are, shuffle off you mortal coil, you c***”. It was interesting to see the distinction between the papers who wrote the word in full ( I can’t bring myself to), and the ones who didn’t; with the Independent writing it in full on their front page. The Sun, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail all asterisked, the Guardian wrote in full, but not until page 4.
We spoke to the Independent unofficially regarding this decision, and it seems is the policy of the Independent not to asterisk swear words. The idea being that they treat their readers with respect and maturity. Also, as this was a direct quote they wanted to do their best to be entirely accurate. Each time anything like this is used it is signed off at the top as well; It is worth noting that the I paper, and independent.co.uk also asterisked as their readership is more children.
What do you think? Responsible, in the nature of freedom of the press and part of the story? Or irresponsible? Does the fact that it was on the front page make it worse? Tweet us at @clareville with your thoughts.