I wouldn’t like you to think I only call out the Daily Mail for sub-standard journalism, so here’s an example from the UK Metro.


So what’s wrong with this?

1) The young man has not been ‘banned’ from his cookery course. The College is still going through the application process.

2) Gordon Ramsay has not offered him a job. The wording in Ramsay’s tweet was:

‘I’d offer him an apprenticeship any day’.

An apprenticeship is not a job.

And note the ‘I’d’. That stands for ‘I would.’ Conditional. Meaning, presumably, ‘I would offer him an apprenticeship if all necessary conditions were met’. We don’t know what those conditions would be, but one might be ‘if I had an apprenticeship available to offer him’ and another might be ‘if he can cook’…

The Metro could have contacted Ramsay and asked him to clarify – are you offering him an apprenticeship now or are you saying you would consider him for one in the future, if he met the criteria or other candidates?

In case you’re wondering why I bang on about these things, it’s because I coach and train people in how to handle the media. Part of handling the media is being able to hold them to the highest standards of precision and fairness, so they don’t get away with sloppiness or bias when they’re reporting your story.