During my now nearly two years of editing your favourite dance music website, I have heard from a fair number of opportunists, shysters and crooks. Usually, they’ve hit the inbox – or sometimes even contacted me personally – to complain about something we’ve written about them that they don’t like.
This is fair enough, in some ways. We do try to reach out to a lot of the artists or people we write about before publication – it avoids a lot of potential problems later and is good journalistic practice. But this doesn’t always happen, for a variety of reasons.
Over the weekend, however, something quite staggering happened. I was personally contacted by someone threatening to sue me over a story which Ears To The House hasn’t actually published. Not only that, but – without going into editorial discussions on this site, which will forever remain private – a story which I haven’t even decided if we’re going to publish yet.
Allow me to explain. On Saturday, I was personally sent a tip on quite a serious story. This isn’t remotely unusual. As I was busy with family matters at the time, I asked a member of the Ears To The House team to take a closer look – and I would check back later. This is also entirely in keeping with normal practice.
Initial checks told us that the story was more complex than first glances suggested and would need more detailed investigation. And once again without going into details on our internal operations, these more detailed investigations may lead to a decision to publish a story later – or it might not. As it stands, I wasn’t prepared to clear the story, as it stood, for publication.
On Saturday evening, I checked my Facebook Messenger and discovered a 2-minute long voice note from the subject of the potential story. I can’t disclose the contents of the message at this time, other than to point out they mentioned a few things we weren’t already aware of and threatened Ears To The House with defamation proceedings if we published.
Quite how the person had found out we were investigating is unclear. At the time, we hadn’t yet reached out to anyone involved in the story – and as I pointed out earlier, no decision has even been taken yet on whether to publish anything at all.
So that was basically my weekend. I’ve had quieter ones…
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