Misleading headlines following Hillsborough leak

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Yesterday’s leaked files relating to the Hillsborough disaster once again showed the appalling standard of British journalism.

The report that a senior Merseyside police officer at the time blamed “drunken fans” in the immediate aftermath of the disaster saw news outlets including the BBC and The Guardian hastily run sensationalist headlines – failing to add that the official report cited “the main reason for the disaster was the failure of police control”.

So the headlines should have read how a senior Merseyside police officer wrongly blamed “drunken fans”.

As Brian Reade wrote in The Mirror today “So desperate was the desire to blame drunken, ticketless fans, even top Merseyside cops joined the cover-up.”

Thankfully The Independent refrained the type of rushed, mis-informed headlines of the BBC and Guardian hastily produced.

The BBC changed their mis-leading headline after a host of complains from Liverpool fans, although still failed to include the key word:

The Guardian lowered their standards with this yesterday:

Andy Burnham, the Labour MP for Leigh, Greater Manchester, has said it is “simply appalling” that former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was told a senior Merseyside police officer blamed “drunken Liverpool fans” for causing the Hillsborough disaster.

Mr Burnham, who has campaigned for the Hillsborough families, said he was shocked to hear of the contents of leaked documents seen by the BBC.

How convenient that the only leaked report was this inflammatory information. If there was nothing to hide, why not release all the papers rather than these dirty, underhand leaks. The cover up continues.

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