Herald Sun editor claims Google accessed unpublished story which led to Logies leak
The Herald Sun has attacked both Google and ninemsn after it accidentally published online that Hamish Blake had won last night’s Gold Logie.
Simon Pristel, editor of The Melbourne based News Limited tabloid, claimed this morning that Google had accessed internal systems to get hold of an “unpublished” story. Google denies this.
Speaking on Triple M’s Melbourne breakfast show, Pristel claimed that Google had been able to search the company’s systems and “found” an unpublished story. Newspapers were given the results under a midnight embargo.
Meanwhile, in an official statement, the Herald Sun claimed that “at no time” was the story on its website.
The comments from the newspaper and Pristel appear to be at odds with a number of screengrabs of the Herald Sun around 90 minutes before the winner announcement.
The screengrab below appears to have been taken at 10.29pm, although it has a publish time within the story of midnight. It was published via twitter by Carly Findlay at 10.30pm last night. The official announcement came just after midnight.
A further screengrab was posted last night by musicfeeds.com.au.
And another screengrab was published on Twitter at about 11.30pm. There is also a link to the Herald Sun website which now has the content removed: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/ipad/hamish-springs-golden-surprise/story-fn6bfkm6-1226327208677.
The Herald Sun issued a statement last night saying:
“Tonight, the name of the gold Logie winner was inadvertently and momentarily made available via Google prior to the winner being announced at the event in Melbourne. The error occurred during live testing of the Herald Sun’s new iPad application which is due for release in coming weeks.
“Live testing has been taking place for about a week. At no time did the Herald Sun publish the name of the winner on its website, iPad app or in Twitter. However, during the live testing, a link to an embargoed story naming the winner was momentarily created and published by Google. The link was discovered almost as soon as it had been created and immediately killed.
“The only media outlet to knowingly publish the winner’s name prior to it being announced was ninemsn.com.au – the website of the host broadcaster.”
Pristel went further this morning telling Triple M:
“It never appears on our website, it never appears on our iPad app. It turns out that Google had somehow searched into our system and found the story that was published in the paper but had never been published on the website.
“Clearly at our end we’ve got some sort of technical issue with our new iPad app that has allowed Google to go in and find an unpublished story.
“The all powerful Google has gone in and found something.”
A spokeswoman for Google told Mumbrella:
“While we strive to provide the freshest, most relevant search results on the Logies and more, Google can only index material already published on the web.
“Google gives webmasters full control over the pages that appear in search. You can read more about how it works here: http://googleblog.blogspot.com.au/2007/01/controlling-how-search-engines-access.html
“Congratulations to Hamish Blake for his big win.”
A spokeswoman for ninemsn told Mumbrella that the Herald Sun’s comments were “ludicrous”. She said: “We reported on the fact that News Limited had published it.” She conceded that in similar circumstances in the future, the site would probably report that the name of thw winner had leaked, but not publish the name.