Philippine print media erroneously kill Mary Jane
Death comes early for Filipina worker on death row Mary Jane Veloso after Philippine newspapers kill her on their headlines ahead of Indonesia announcing a stay of her execution

The Philippine print media inadvertently killed Filipino worker Mary Jane Veloso ahead of her execution on Tuesday, April 28, after news of Indonesia delaying Veloso’s execution broke after the newspapers have already been sent to the printers.

Eight other foreigners were executed before Veloso on the same night.

But a last minute appeal from Philippine President Benigno Aquino III and rights activists changed Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s mind.

Ayee Macaraig reports.

In the age of Periscope, print’s not dead.

But it can inadvertently kill people.

The stay of the execution of Mary Jane Veloso broke past 2 am Manila time on Wednesday way past the deadline of Philippine newspapers’ editions and the bedtime of many print editors.

Here’s how the top 3 Philippine broadsheets reported on Mary Jane:the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s headline goes: “Death before dawn.”

The Philippine Star also has a dramatic headline, “Screaming for mercy,”refering to the family of the Filipina maid and the 8 other drug convicts who were executed.

The Manila Bulletin, whose tagline goes “There’s good news here,”put on a more positive banner: ‘We’re hoping for a miracle’ – a quote from Marites Veloso, the sister of Mary Jane.

While the newspaper stories took hours to correct, online, the shift was as quick as a click.

From #SaveMaryJane, the hashtag #MaryJaneLives immediately trended worldwide.

Sleepless netizens started their day by poking fun at what they called sensational headlines.

Journalist Alan Robles tweets his own title: “Veloso bids final farewell… to erroneous Inquirer headline.”

Pangasinan Congresswoman Kimi Cojuangco says, “My oh my! This is where social media is more credible than PDI.”

With Coconuts Manila reporting on the boo-boo.

Inquirer releases a statement apologizing for its print platform’s error.

The PDI says, “We promise our readers to do a better job. We are revamping newsroom processes …. We share in the nation’s joy: Mary Jane lives!”

Supporters of President Aquino threw virtual eggs at the Manila Standard, perceived to be anti-administration.

The Standard’s headline goes, “PNoy is to blame.”

Artist Jim Paredes tweets: Manila subStandard can make a huge omelette. LOL. Disgraceful spin that boomeranged.”

Another hard-hitting paper, The Manila Times, ran a similar headline: “All hopes fade”

Well, this isn’t the first time the industry in a hurry killed newsmakers. 

From unverified hoaxes to accidentally published obituaries, cynical journalists sometimes murder celebrities and politicians, and in the process, shoot themselves in the foot. Online, our version of this hall of shame is the screenshot. –