The Australian Press Council has ruled Bauer Media Woman’s Day was in reach of standards over the accuracy of a headline published in May last year, which declared Prince Harry and Meghan’s marriage to be over.
The Council ruled the headline was “blatantly incorrect” a breach of standards despite the fact gossip magazines don’t need to adhere to the same factual standards as most other media.
The cover read: “Palace confirms the marriage is over! Why Harry was left with no choice but to end it”.
According to the Council, Woman’s Day, which is a member of the self-regulatory body, breached standards for headline accuracy, which was not supported in the article.
The Australian Press Council has ruled that Woman’s Day, which is a member of the self-regulatory body, was in breach of standards for accuracy for the headline, which was not backed up by the article.
Despite the fact gossip magazines are given more leeway when it comes to accurate reporting, the council ruled in this instance, it crossed a line.
The Council said: “While an entertainment publication can be expected to use some exaggeration, the headline was expressed as an unqualified fact that the palace had confirmed the marriage was over.
“The Council considers that the statement in the headline was such that it was more than just an exaggeration, and that it was misleading.”
Bauer told the Council that neither Harry and Meghan or the Royal family complained about the article so it was never corrected.
The article quoted several anonymous sources while accusing Meghan of an online affair and being “absent from Royal duties”.
Woman’s Day argued gossip magazines had readers who knew the content was more often than not “light entertainment” and it would be “unreasonable to hold such publications to a standard similar to that of other news media”.
It added: “Readers should expect a level of exaggeration and a complaint could be made about almost every gossip magazine.”
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