Top Tip To Press Officers, begins this missive from Politico, sounding a bit like Viz magazine.
Don’t blatantly lie to journalists if you ever want to be believed again, it continues.
It’s good advice, and it follows some sterling hack work from BuzzFeed’s Emily Dugan, who rather gave the Ministry of Justice the run around over a report it produced into its troubled legal aid reforms.
The crux of it is that the MoJ press office released just a summary of the report, and denied a longer one existed. Dugan got the full version, rather making the MoJ look foolish (to say the least).
The MoJ told the reporter “we will be very disappointed if you allude to us being in any way dishonest in your article”.
Hmm. Caught red-handed, I fear.
The MoJ has now been reported to the Information Commissioner for allegedly covering up the report.
This might have been cock-up rather than conspiracy by the MoJ. But hacks are likely to assume otherwise. It takes a long time to get over these things. Years.