Catholic Herald Reporter ARCHBISHOP HEENAN of
Liverpool has this week been the victim of a classic example of reporting out of context. The guilty party is the " Daily Mail."
Its London edition of Tuesday carried this headline: "RC Archbishop in row— he said high pay could be degrading to nurses."
The report, by Peter Whaley, began:
"Nurses' union leaders replied angrily last night to a critical outburst by Dr. John Heenan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool. Dr. Heenan said at a prize-giving at
Billinge Hospital, Wigan, Lancashire . . .
" THAT high pay would be 'the worst thing that could happen to the nursing profession' because it might attract the wrong kind of girl."
There followed quotes from three nurses' leaders, sharply criticising the Archbishop's remarks.
By way of contrast, the "Daily Mail's" own northern edition carries a perfectly straightforward account of the Archbishop's speech under the headlines: "Battle plan for nurses in pay war—Archbishop aims to win them a square deal '. And it-s first paragraph reads: "A combined attack to win a square deal for nurses over their pay claims was called for yesterday by Archbishop John Heenan, and he urged the B.M.A. to back the fight."
The northern " Daily Mail" includes no quotes from nurses' leaders.
This squares with the "Daily Telegraph ", whose headline read: "Archbishop says 'Raise Nurses' Pay.'" And the London "Times " Dr. Heenan's plea for nurses' pay—Government survey urged ". These two papers then went on to give a fair and accurate report of the Archbishop's speech.
What did Archbishop Heenan really say?
"The worst thing that could happen to the nursing profession," he began, " would be to make it financially so rewarding as to attract the wrong woman for the wrong motives. Any profession is degraded when money becomes the incentive.
"The good nurse, like the good doctor or the good priest, must he inspired by compassion for those she serves. So no woman should choose nursing as a career to make money.
a But by choosing it," the Archbishop continued, "she should not put herself to a notable disadvant Continued on page 10, col 3