Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Update: Sir Bob Okay at Auntie

COMMENT: ABC have replied to our complaint about the incorrect use of the term "Sir" for Bob Geldof. Reading the reply it seems ABC is happy to suspend its editorial policies concerning facts and accuracy in this matter (where will it end?). Hence from here on in corresponding with Auntie we shall preface our name with the appropriate title, afterall it's almost a nickname.
Sir Marc.
PS We have forwarded this complaint on to the Complaint Review Executive for further action.

Received 21 April 2010

I am advised by ABC News that they recognise that Bob Geldof is not officially ‘Sir Bob’, however, the use of ‘Sir Bob’ has become common across the media, almost as a nickname. ABC News has reminded staff that ‘Sir Bob Geldof’ is not officially correct, but they accept that stories and programs will occasionally use ‘Sir’ and most audience members would be familiar with this usage.   ABC News have changed a few recent cases online from ‘Sir Bob Geldof’ to ‘Bob Geldof’, but the division does not plan to go back and change all online references as you suggest.

On review, and while noting your point that Audience and Consumer Affairs upheld a complaint on this issue some five years ago, on further consideration we are satisfied that the approach by ABC News is not in contravention of ABC editorial standards for accuracy.  We do not believe that the overall accuracy of the stories is compromised by using the title “Sir” in relation to Bob Geldof.

Nonetheless, please be assured that your comments are noted and have been raised with ABC News management.

Yours sincerely
Audience & Consumer Affairs

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