First off, apologies for the lack of blogging, but I've been working a 60 hour week, coupled with a two day conference and other stuff (including being contacted a lot about Nightjack – about which I appeared on Channel 4 news, but which I, myself, missed.)
I was woken from my sleep by a text message from a friend telling me that I was in the News of the World. As far as I know the publishers hadn't planned anything with them so it was a bit of a surprise.
He sent me this picture of the article.
I was somewhat perturbed. Actually I was flaming furious. You see, despite the mistakes, it also implies other things.
For comparison you can read the original post here.
Firstly, I didn't say anything, I wrote it. Over three years ago. Hardly news. I'm also not based at the Royal London hospital – we have these things we call ambulance stations. And they get the name of the book wrong. So far not exactly quality reporting.
(And why I do have more than one blog, I think they are mixing up 'blogs' and 'posts', which while annoying is perhaps a little petty to bring up)
The ambulance arrived and took the baby to hospital (sorry 'brain bug tot'), the baby didn't travel in the neighbour's car at all.
The implication is that the baby definitely had meningitis (which it didn't) where in the actual article I try to show that it isn't meningitis. Also things have changed for the better and FRUs are waiting on scene for long times a lot less often than when I did it.
I would guess that the News of the World got hold of a copy of my book – reached page four (where this story is printed) and got no further because they smelled something they could get outraged about. Rather than, say, doing some work and seeing how busy the ambulances were that day (three years ago).
While I've never expected quality journalism from the redtops, it still surprised me how easily they twisted the facts to say what they wanted to say, while getting even the basics wrong.
The sad thing is that this sort of coverage will probably make my bosses look a little less favourably upon me, even though I had nothing to do with the paper printing it, or with putting their own spin on things.