The Daily Mail has been forced to issue a fresh apology after being censured by the Press Complaints Commission for publishing a fictitious story on the Amanda Knox trial online.
The fake story stated that Knox had lost an appeal against her conviction for murdering British student Meredith Kercher – when in fact she had won.
Although the article was only live on the Mail’s website for just 90 seconds on October 3 The Mail was further criticised for fabricating quotes from prosecutors and Knox’s family, allegedly reacting to the dire news that wasn’t.
The imaginative author had written a number of eyewitness testiomonies for the event that didn’t happen, stating that Kercher: “remained expressionless, staring straight ahead, glancing over just once at the distraught Knox family.”
Acknowledging its errors the Mail claimed that it was standard practice to prepare two alternative stories in high profile cases to be prepared in advance and courtroom confusion had led to the wrong angle being picked.
Following the incident the Mail published the correct version of events alongside an accompanying apology and explanation to readers but the PCC have still described the Mail’s report as “clearly not acceptable”.
The PCC’s adjudication will now be carried by the Mail online.