Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest rebuttal to an inaccurate story by a public sector body.
This week there was an incident in a theatre in Birmingham city centre. Equipment malfunctioned during a performance and there was an explosion backstage. There were no injuries. As a precaution the theatre evacuated.
This translated to this on The Sun newspaper Twitter:
— The Sun (@TheSun) 13 February 2018
In the old way of doing things there would have been a phone call to the newsdesk. There would have been tooing and frowing and maybe the newspaper would have got round to correcting it.
But probably not.
Instead West Midlands Police took to Twitter with a direct rebuttal within EIGHT minutes:
We didn’t. The theatre quite rightly initiated their emergency plans and evacuated. Diversions are in place but all other businesses are open. Birmingham is NOT closed following this technical fault in the basement. No casualties.
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) 13 February 2018
This is brilliant.
The swift rebuttal was shared more than 400 times within eight hours and The Sun’s tweet just over 30.
The response from the public? Overwhelmingly positive.
If we no longer have to go through the Priesthood of journalists to talk to residents let’s do it and hold inaccurate damaging reporting accountable.
Thanks Emily Dunn for spotting this.