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Complainant Name:
Mr George Shand

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Scotsman


Mr George Shand of Airdrie complained that an article reporting on a BBC interview during which Alex Salmond had been asked to divide 24 by zero had claimed that he had replied with the wrong answer. In fact, infinity – which was Mr Salmond’s response – was the correct answer. The headline, which set out that Mr Salmond had been “stumped” by the question, was also inaccurate.


The complaint was resolved by the publication of the following correction, both online and in print:

Alex Salmond – correction

In our story of 18 April headlined “Salmond stumped by a mother’s maths question” we reported that First Minster Alex Salmond had erred on an arithmetic question posed by a member of the public during a BBC webcast.

Mr Salmond was asked to divide 24 by zero and gave the answer infinity. He was told by the BBC interviewer that the correct answer was zero.

Mr Salmond’s answer of infinity was, in fact, correct. We are happy to set the record straight.

Report: 79

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