Inquirer issues erratum for Aquino 'Time' photo booboo

The Philippine Daily Inquirer was quick to issue an apology for running on its front page a spoof cover of Time Magazine showing President Benigno Aquino with his mouth agape.

The red-bordered erratum featured prominently below the fold on the front page of one of the Philippines' most widely circulated broadsheets was published April 21, the day after it committed the gaffe.

"In the April 20 issue, a photo of President Aquino and its caption gave the wrong impression that it was the cover of Time Magazine," the erratum read.

"While Mr. Aquino was cited by Time as among the 100 most influential people in the world, he was not on the cover of the magazine. Our apologies," it added.

But was the apology enough?

Well, it was "more than what we can expect from most newsrooms," media watchdog Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility said, welcoming the Inquirer statement.

"The Inquirer admitted its mistake, and that's about what we can expect," CMFR deputy director Luis Teodoro told Yahoo! Southeast Asia Monday.

This, even as he noted how the Inquirer was unable to explain how it had gotten hold of the image of the cover which it attributed to Time.

"One can accept that they mistakenly assumed Mr. Aquino was part of the cover. But where did they [the Inquirer] get the cover they used?" Teodoro said in a phone interview.

Spin Busters, a satirical website critiquing Philippine media, however, was less forgiving of what it called "a stupid mistake."

"The monumental error cost PDI a lot of credibility points especially among the social media crowd," said the website, which was among the first to call Inquirer out on the error.

"No netizen in his or her right mind would have mostaken that meme of President BS Aquino--with his mouth wide open--for a Time Magazine cover," Spin Busters said.

It also raised concern over "the apparent tolerance of incompetence within the country's most influential newsroom."

"Next time editors at the Inquirer commit a glaring gaffe, they can use 'honest mistake' as an excuse for what's really a stupid mistake," Spin Busters said.

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

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