Colin Brayton has a translation of a column by the ombudsman of a Brazilian newspaper that details how a publication mistook a photo of a bunch of actors for drug traffickers. His full post is here. Some highlights of his translation:
On Tuesday (May 22), the Jornal do Brasil published a jumphed on its front page with the headline “Drug traffic shows its firepower on Orkut.”
Above it was a photo of young persons, carrying weapons, with the caption “12 drug traffickers with firearms and bulletproof vests. Among them, one woman.”
The report on page A12 added more information obtained from the social-networking site Orkut: “Another profile, of an unidentified person, shows the photo, which demonstrates the shameless audacity of the traffickers on Orkut. Twelve young people armed with rifles, machine guns and pistols show off for the camera on the hilltop. There is even a woman in the group.”
It was a [brain-fart], which the Folha editorial manual defines as “publication of a serious factual error.”
The “traffickers” were actually actors shot while filming a feature-length film that has yet to be released.
Unfortunate errors like this are part of the history of every news organization and every journalist in Brazil. Let he who has never pulled this sort of thing cast the first stone...