Tuesday 3 July 2012

As long as they spell your name right: Rowan Williams and the Observer

After last week's posts, the Observer added an apology to the end of their piece on Rowan Williams, and removed the offending paragraph. An acknowledgement also appeared at the end of Theo Hobson's piece in The Guardian. The Islamophobia Watch website summed up the whole debacle in an extended post, rightly concluding: "It turns out that the Observer report is in fact misleading in almost every respect." Though to give them their due, they did manage to spell Rowan's name correctly.

No doubt the Archbishop of Canterbury was shocked and surprised to see his views misrepresented in the British press. But it's all water under the bridge. And let the one who has never misunderstood Rowan Williams cast the first stone. (I don't understand him, and I wrote a whole book about it!)

Anyway, it wasn't journalism's finest hour. But for a more positive and hopeful portrayal of the journalistic arts, and the capacity of the news media to "speak truth to stupid", be sure to check out the new HBO series The Newsroom. It's the latest creation of Aaron Sorkin, whom you'll remember from The Social Network, A Few Good Men, and greatest-show-of-all-time The West Wing.

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