Daily Star Apologizes for Fake Game Story

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Daily Star Apologizes for Fake Game Story

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The Star says it hadn't checked its facts or asked enough questions before it published a very critical story about a fictitious GTA Rothbury game.

The Daily Star has issued a formal apology to Rockstar Games after it published a story saying that Rockstar was making a Grand Theft Auto game based on real-life killer Raoul Moat.

The story was based on a fake game box cover the Star had found online, and author of the piece - who was less than contrite when the factual errors of the story were pointed out - went as far as to contact one of the victims' grandmothers to ask her opinion on the game.

The Star said it had made no attempt to check the facts of the story before publication and had not asked itself why Rockstar would use the GTA brand to make light of such a tragedy. The Star said it "unreservedly apologized" for the claims, and had said it would not repeat them. It also said that it had agreed to pay a "substantial amount" in damages, which Rockstar is donating to charity.

It's good news that the paper has apologized, and hopefully the damages paid were enough to make the Star think twice before publishing anything without checking its facts first.

(Thanks to Haz88 for the tip)

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About damn time irresponsible journalism was reigned in.

I find it quite sad that they thought it was legitimate.
It's fairly obvious that this was a photoshop job, and I'm quite surprised that the person who found this is still working with the Daily Star.

Let's hope the "journalist" that wrote the article, then raged back at the people calling him an idiot gets in trouble, if not fired. Not that I would wish him so ill, but we can't have people not doing research and spreading bad news.

Good on Rockstar... donating the money to charity as well.

There is some justice.

CoverYourHead:
Let's hope the "journalist" that wrote the article, then raged back at the people calling him an idiot gets in trouble, if not fired. Not that I would wish him so ill, but we can't have people not doing research and spreading bad news.

I came here hoping to read that he'd been fired. I don't get why anyone wouldn't wish that upon him. It's one thing is to spread lies and hostility, but it's something else completely to start insulting someone who really didn't have much to do with the whole thing in the first place when he's called out on it. People like him are trash, and we'd all be better off without him. Not being able to admit you're wrong is a massive character flaw, and one that can cause a lot of harm.

Logan Westbrook:
It's good news that the paper has apologized, and hopefully the damages paid were enough to make the Star think twice before publishing anything without checking its facts first.

HA! Doubtful!! The Star being somewhat less credible than the Daily Fail, after all!!

I did spot this earlier over on Tabloidwatch. It's great news. Although it does look a wee bit like Rockstar wrote the apology, as it's a little more apologetic and actually admits blame. Our tabloids don't usually actually admit they did anything wrong when they correct a pack of lies like that. For anyone that's interested the apology was published in the printed copy of the paper. It appeared quite prominently on page two. And yes I did have to wade further than I ever want to again through that odious rag.

Missmayhem is right, though. This won't stop them. This is the paper who published a story about an aeroplane hitting an ash cloud and erupting into flame the day flights resumed from UK airports. Of course the aeroplane they reported on was from 1983. But that didn't stop them scaremongering.

In fact this is the seventh time this year the Star has had to apologise for making stuff up. But it would have been more if the PCC was actually any use whatsoever.

Apparently, this is the first time they've heard of Photoshop.

Well, it's nice to see libel at least being acknowledged...

"hopefully the damages paid were enough to make the Star think twice before publishing anything without checking its facts first."

I take it you're not overly familiar with the likes of the Daily Star or the Daily Mail then.

Really, now one thought to fact check the story before hand. Is fact checking not taught in journalism 101, "Make sure the story is real before going for it". All they had to do was contact Rockstar for comment. Then Rockstar would have set the record strait, and the paper would not have to pay a settlement.

SultanP:

CoverYourHead:
Let's hope the "journalist" that wrote the article, then raged back at the people calling him an idiot gets in trouble, if not fired. Not that I would wish him so ill, but we can't have people not doing research and spreading bad news.

I came here hoping to read that he'd been fired. I don't get why anyone wouldn't wish that upon him. It's one thing is to spread lies and hostility, but it's something else completely to start insulting someone who really didn't have much to do with the whole thing in the first place when he's called out on it. People like him are trash, and we'd all be better off without him. Not being able to admit you're wrong is a massive character flaw, and one that can cause a lot of harm.

No chance he'll be fired, sadly. Notice that the apology came from the paper itself, rather than the irresponsible bellend that made the article up.

Also, I'm doubting they won't publish complete rubbish again, because this is the Daily Star we're talking about. Hopefully, though, they might pick on poor families of victims and the gaming community less often now, now they know that we'll make them pay for it.

Due Diligence? What's that?

Yeah, you might want to check something like that before publishing a story about a company as big as RStar.

Well that was to be expected, seeing as it's the least they could do.

Now if only Jerry Lawton would issue a personal apology for his comments on Facebook, although I wouldn't hold my breath.

I hope Rockstar features a snivelling, parasitic tabloid journalist called Gerry Lawson in their next GTA game, and base some side mission (like the Two-Faced Tanner mission in GTA:III) around humiliating, terrifying and torturing (but not killing) the conniving little worm.

The NPC Gerry Lawson would also make an excellent character and guest to feature on Lazlow's (or another) talk radio show, they could have a lot of fun at his expense... that would teach him not to slander a talented, witty, satirical and multi-million dollar games developer.

Rockstar have not been hurt. The Star looks like an idiot. And money is going to charity...For such a bastarding flagrant lack of journalistic integrity it seems to have worked out well.

But there is some khunt somewhere who still has a job that should not be employed.

You do realise that when their apology is published in the paper it'll be the tiniest paragraph next to the weather, right?

At the end of the article there's a link that says, "More 'news' here..."
Are they implying that the article isn't news..?

Radeonx:
I find it quite sad that they thought it was legitimate.
It's fairly obvious that this was a photoshop job, and I'm quite surprised that the person who found this is still working with the Daily Star.

I doubt they did. I think it was all just a publicity stunt. Look at all the attention they are receiving now.
Any press is good press.

Gilhelmi:
Really, now one thought to fact check the story before hand. Is fact checking not taught in journalism 101, "Make sure the story is real before going for it". All they had to do was contact Rockstar for comment. Then Rockstar would have set the record strait, and the paper would not have to pay a settlement.

I think the moral of this story is "Learn to fact check or write a fat cheque".

Perhaps they should get a plaque with "Fact Check or Fat Cheque? You decide..." mounted in their office.

Awesome. Good for them to check themselves after such a grave mistake. So when does Lawton get fired?

dekkarax:
You do realise that when their apology is published in the paper it'll be the tiniest paragraph next to the weather, right?

It's been printed. It was oppposite the lass with the huge.... Yes well. Due prominence was applied to the apology. It takes up quite a large sidebar. Certainly more than would have been done had Rockstar NOT had word in their collective ear.

i know what happened. the star got a letter from Rockstar's lawyers that said "bend over, bitch"

Anyone else get the feeling they knew this was a fake all along ? Our good old british press isn't exactly known for their honesty when it comes to reporting about games... especially when it comes to GTA...
Sounds more like a cheap (and hopeful) dig at the games industry...

Jamash:

Gilhelmi:
Really, now one thought to fact check the story before hand. Is fact checking not taught in journalism 101, "Make sure the story is real before going for it". All they had to do was contact Rockstar for comment. Then Rockstar would have set the record strait, and the paper would not have to pay a settlement.

I think the moral of this story is "Learn to fact check or write a fat cheque".

Perhaps they should get a plaque with "Fact Check or Fat Cheque? You decide..." mounted in their office.

That is a good one. If anyone makes a sign like that I would by it.

The bit where rockstar was donating it to charity made me lol, way to make the star look like dicks! (+1 respect for rockstar), oh yeah, and a good cause and all that :P

Ha and Rockstar's donating it to charity, class act. Basically saying not only wouldn't we do this but holy crap are we nice people.
Kudos sirs.

Hope the writer gets fired.

It's good of Rockstar to donate the money to charity, they get my respect for that. I doubt the article hurt them financially anyway.

hopefully the damages will be pulled out of the jerk journalist's paycheck.

Well its nice to see a publication actually out right apologize then sugar coat a half apology. Also a good thing with the damages they are paying which will be donated is nice too!

I swear it is at times like this that I curse that something like the fairness doctrine doesn't exist anymore. Yet I know we can't have a fairness doctrine because of the internet and how easily information can be distributed and no government or organization will be able to keep up ensuring that all information from newspapers and new media is accurate on the facts.

I also think we need to establish the difference between the op-ed(opinion from the writer) and the actual analysis because a good deal of op-ed is making the news not about the event but about the journalist and I'll be honest, most of the time I shouldn't care what that journalist or anchor thinks. These two have merged so much over this past decade that everyone thinks journalism is some jabba the hut.

Radeonx:
I find it quite sad that they thought it was legitimate.
It's fairly obvious that this was a photoshop job, and I'm quite surprised that the person who found this is still working with the Daily Star.

Do you even know the Daily Star? It's pretty much just a soft porn mag with pretentions to being a newspaper. Quite frankly I'm surprised such a big deal has been made of it.
Also, I'm pretty damn certain they knew it wasn't legitimate.

Aye, Daily Star is not exactly famed for its reliability. The journalist in question probably got a round of high-fives for that story and a slap on the back.

yeah i read that, nice of rockstar to donate the money they won from the defamation. First apology I have seen from a newspaper.

Heh, I love it when irresponsible journalism brings havoc down upon itself by it's own ignorance. Still can't believe they thought that story to be legit in the first place.

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