How to not quite tell the truth about press complaints.

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Professor Brian Cathcart of the Hacked Off group presents us with some interesting figures in his blog in the Huffington Post.

Top of the most complained about newspapers is The Daily Mail. Ah yes, that horrible, populist, right-wing, racist [fill in the the word] rag run by Lord Dacre.

I don’t need to explain the intention of Cathcart’s piece. What’s interesting, of course, is what is not said. Namely that although The Daily Mail tops the table with the most complaints, if you work out the number of complaints in relation to the number of readers, it scores less than the Guardian, that paragon of objective, liberal left-wing, political correctness.

For the Mail, one complaint is generated for every 1534 readers. For the Guardian, it’s one for every 1439 readers. And so, in real terms, the Guardian is slightly more offensive than the Mail.

And that’s because the Mail’s circulation (1,863,151) is bigger than the Guardian’s (204,440).

How to pull a fast one with figures.

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