I couldn’t believe my eyes when I glimpsed the headline stretched across the scrap of newspaper trapped under the café chair leg. We were sitting outside the Bakehouse on Broughton Street, newly reopened after last year’s fire damage, half-listening to a slim grey-haired stranger enthuse about Blipfoto. I would have joined in the conversation, but first I had to read this news report. How on earth had the word “Dreamaticus” crept into a newspaper by-line?
For months Belle and I had craved fame for our dream journal, but not for a story such as this. If it were to be believed, a healthcare librarian in the US had cited nonsense from the Dreamaticus web site in response to an urgent medical enquiry. The medics acted on this “information”, and – unsurprisingly – the patient died.
In response the distraught family launched a law suit against the hospital. Eventually the hospital’s lawyers traced the Dreamaticus web site and its owner back to Scotland. It was incredibly distressing to see my full name, my occupation, and the name of my employer in print. The paper had even printed my full apology to the hospital and the family of the bereaved.
I commented to TPR and our companion that I had been let down by journalists in the past, but never before on such a scale.