‘We have failed you’ – Denmark’s daily newspaper apologises to readers over covid coverage

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Denmark’s leading daily newspaper Ekstra Bladet (Extra Magazine) has published an apology to its readers for publishing government covid press releases without checking for their factual accuracy.

It has discovered that covid hospitalisations were over-stated by the Danish government and the publisher regrets not checking government and health ministry press releases before publishing them and scaring Denmark’s population. However, Ekstra Bladet is not the first mainstream publication to offer an apology to its readers – that award goes to The Bild in Germany.

Ekstra Bladet, founded in 1904, stated: “For almost two years, we – the press and the public – have been mesmerized by the daily covid reports from the authorities…We rashly reported about covid-infections, hospitalisations, and covid-related fatalities without checking.

“We have reported on the smallest changes in the covid story based on what the experts, politicians and authorities told us…The constant mental stress has taken its toll on all of us.

“So we – the press – must also take stock of our own efforts. And we have failed you.

“We were not vigilant enough when the authorities told us that people were in hospital ‘with’ Covid and not because of Covid. Because it makes a difference. A big difference.

“To be exact, the official hospital admission numbers were found to be 27% higher than the actual number of people hospitalized with Covid. We only know that now.

“It is, of course, primarily the responsibility of the authorities to provide the public with correct, accurate, and honest information.

“The [correct] figures on how many people are sick and dying from Covid should have been published a long time ago, for obvious reasons.

“Overall, the messages from the authorities and politicians to the public in this historic crisis leave much to be desired. They lied.

“Another example: Vaccines are repeatedly referred to as our ‘superweapon’. And our hospitals are called ‘super hospitals’.

“Yet these super-hospitals are apparently under maximum pressure, even though almost the entire population is armed with a super-weapon. Even children are vaccinated on a large scale, which is not the case in our neighbouring countries.

“In other words, there is something here that does not deserve the label ‘super’. Whether it’s the vaccines, the hospitals, or a mixture of both is anyone’s guess.

“But the way those in power communicate with the public certainly doesn’t deserve the label ‘super’. Quite the opposite.”

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