Satirical magazine Private Eye has today published an article covering AP?s exposure of misleading newspaper reports that suggested meerkats could take photographs, which we revealed as a hoax.
The Private Eye piece attacks many British newspapers for failing to apologise to their readers after news of the hoax emerged.
?While the Telegraph… managed to carry a clarification on its website (but not in the paper itself), not one of the others felt any need to enlighten their readers,? concludes the Private Eye article.
The report appears as part of the ‘Street of Shame’ column in the 14-27 September issue of Private Eye, in shops now (page 4).
The EOS 650 is a 20-year-old film-based SLR camera.
But the reports stated that the pictures were stored on the camera’s ‘digital memory card’, an error that triggered doubts about the authenticity of the story.
Speaking to AP last week Keith Harris, head warden at Longleat Safari Park, revealed: ‘It started off as a joke. It was a slight hoax. The meerkats didn’t take any pictures at all.’
One blogger has since dubbed the fiasco ‘Meerkatgate’.
The story had been distributed to the press by South West News Service, an agency whose picture editor Paul Walters told The Daily Telegraph he had accepted the images ?in good faith? as the work of the meerkats. ?We?ve been duped ultimately,? he told the paper.
The revelation forced the BBC, which also reported the unlikely story, to apologise.
Click on the full Amateur Photographer story here for details of how the meerkat hoax was uncovered.