The Manchester Evening News's drive for more data journalism has caused the newspaper to puts its foot in it.
The story looked innocent enough – the local council trumpeting a crackdown on bad dog owners who fail to clean up when their pets have answered the call of nature; the few spoiling it for the many, civil society agenda, etc – and the MEN naturally gave it a good show.
Unfortunately, doubtless buckling under the pressure of the daily grind, nobody handling the copy appeared to notice that something just didn’t smell right with the numbers supplied by Tameside Council’s press office, who said that the borough’s 30,000 dogs were producing an average of 12,000 tonnes of waste per day.
Either that, or the real story is how Manchester dogs are each producing 800lbs of excrement per day. No wonder the council wants to clean it up.