Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Sun exclusive - it's a easy-get

When is an exclusive not an exclusive? Well, there’s one in today’s Sun.

The Page 20 headline Queasyjet – Airline offers Jewish passengers a choice of ham or bacon – had all the elements of a lively, mischievous page lead.

And a heavily-researched one too, given the exclusive tag and the joint byline of Chris Pollard and Vince Soodin. But what puzzled Jewish Chronicle assistant editor Jenni Frazer was that it had appeared in her paper on Friday – and Soodin had even rung her asking for contact details.

Even more galling was the fact that she had insisted “only if you credit the JC!” This was not a trite request. The nationals trawl the JC every week for copy. Only last week, The JC’s (properly, well-researched exclusive) on a Jewish football team being kicked out of a league for fielding non-Jewish players had been sold all around by an agency - yet presented by all concerned as an original story.

The Mirror even led a page on it under the lively headline Jew Are Ya?
But even more revealing was the response from the Sun when Frazer rang Soodin to front him up with: “What happened to your promise of a credit – and why on earth did you claim it was an exclusive?”

The reply: “When we take stories from regionals or locals, we usually tag them exclusive.”

A regional? Tell that to our readers in Manchester, Gateshead, Southend, Tel Aviv, New York...

Anyway, after a calm yet, shall we say empirical, exchange, came the reasoning: “We do use it in a different way here.”

PS: Indeed. At least they fessed up in the end and added a link in the online version.

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