It is sometimes easy to forget that the primary aim of a newspaper is to make money. We tend to believe what we read most of the time, but a lot of caution is needed. Often, accurate reporting comes second to getting the paper produced and when the pressure is on to meet deadlines, if that means an article is not accurate, then it seems many newspapers don't really worry about that too much.
Of course, as readers, we only really discover this when we have first-hand knowledge of something and we are able to compare the true facts with what a newspaper says about it.
The headline alone is mis-leading. It links Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Hells Angels. "The father, son and the Harley ghost: Pope proves he's no Hells Angel by selling his Harley Davidson to give proceeds to the poor".
This link is somewhat unfair to most Harley-Davidson owners, as many that I know, who would not sell their own Harley-Davidson's, are most definitely not Hells Angels.
The reporter cannot even spell Harley-Davidson properly. Nor can he spell angels it seems. Further down in the piece, he spells it as "Hells Angles". Oh dear.
The caption underneath one of the pictures states "At the time the Pope laid his hands on a disabled Angel...." I happen to know the man pictured is not a Hells Angel, but a HOG member. Similarly, the article goes on to say "Four days after the gifts were given to him, Francis blessed a crowd of Hells Angle bikers in a congregation at an open air mass in St Peter's Square". Really? There were many thousands of HOG members there, but to suggest these were Hells Angles (sic) is somewhat ludicrous.
So, the reporter, Chris Pleasance, has some facts right, but has largely embellished the article with untrue references to Hells Angels to spice it up somewhat. Either that or he simply didn't check the facts. Whichever is the case, it is very shoddy reporting.
Sadly, this is not the first time I have experienced poor reporting of something I personally knew about. I would say that I have read about six or so articles about things I had good knowledge of. In every case, I have read the newspaper reports and was amazed at how inaccurate they were.
This blog was originally started to record a five month, 21000 mile tour of the US on my Harley-Davidson. I continue to use this blog to record my own motorcycling adventures, wherever they may be, along with my thoughts and opinions about motorcycling generally.
Having devoted most of my adult life to being a ‘company man’, the transition to the next phase of my life away from the construction industry was always going to include some challenges. Planning and then making my dream trip to explore America on my Harley-Davidson proved to be the ideal vehicle for clearing my mind of old ways of thinking and being. I rode 21,475 miles, in 27 US states in four-and-a-half months.
My motorcycling trips have continued, with journeys across much of Europe, New Zealand, North Africa and Cuba.
A few years ago, I set up and now run Tour1, which takes riders on Harley-Davidson Authorised tours across Europe. See www.tour1.co.uk.
I live just north of London in the UK.
Please note all photographs on this blog are copyrighted. Do not copy or use, in whole or in part, any image from this blog either in its original form or altered in any way. If you do want to use one of the photographs, then you must ask first and I will almost certainly say yes! Thanks for your understanding.
US Tour - My Favourites Places I Went To....
It is difficult to choose, but here is my list of the highlights of my US tour, in the order I saw them in....