The Daily Punctilio is the main newspaper that operates in the City and is often sold & read in its surrounding areas such as the Hinterlands. It is wildly popular regardless of its often erroneous information and it spreads like wildfire whenever a new edition is published. As a result, it becomes a source of annoyance and later distress for the Baudelaire children.
In the finale of the Netflix adaptation, it is shown that the newspaper eventually went defunct due to false reporting.
This tabloid is often portrayed in the series as an unreliable source of information and often gets the facts wrong. It distorts (unknown if intentionally or not) the truth to the extent that it can be considered propaganda and fraudulent reporting. The misinformation is subsequently widespread and many of its readers assume the information is true.
Their headlines are often sensationalist, possibly to entice more readers and generate more profits. The newspaper often focuses on gossip and trivial affairs, often titled with ridiculous and absurd headlines such as: "POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING MUSTACHE."
Not only that, but the newspaper is also generally unprofessional. For example, instead of simply retelling the facts and being a source of news, the newspaper often includes personal essay-like writing styles and opinion pieces (editorializing), such as including the opinion: "Perishing in a fire would have been much better compared to being eaten alive by deadly leeches." Professional grammar and writing style is often absent. Worst of all, The Daily Punctilio can be notorious for publishing libelous information in articles that focus on key individuals such as relentlessly framing the Baudelaire orphans for several crimes they did not commit and claiming that Monty Montgomery dislikes reptiles despite the fact his profession involves handling them.
Role in A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Daily Punctilio is most relevant in the series in The Vile Village. The newspaper reported that Veronica, Klyde and Susie Baudelaire (Intended to be Violet, Klaus and Sunny) were responsible for the murder of "Count Omar" (intended to be Count Olaf, but this is another mistake as it was really Jacques Snicket) and the real person is still out at large and the authorities no longer looking for them. This is an example of how false reporting can ruin lives, as the Baudelaires are on-the-run as fugitives.
The Daily Punctilio has launched a smear campaign against the three siblings ever since, although in the TV series, it is shown the newspaper had begun slandering them before the events of The Vile Village: Part Two. This may be because there are heavy implications that the newspaper is affiliated with the Fire-Starting Side of V.F.D.. For example, the star reporter, Geraldine Julienne, is a die-hard fan of Esme Squalor.
Opinions on the newspaper
Violet Baudelaire, while reading a misinformed article, reacts negatively by stating, "Ugh! If I invented something as sloppily as this newspaper writes its stories, it would fall apart immediately."
Klaus's reaction was, "If I read books as sloppily, I wouldn't remember one single fact."
Sunny's reaction was, "Krechin!" which meant something along the lines of "And if I used my four big teeth to bite something as sloppily, I wouldn't even leave one toothmark!"
Despite Mr. Poe's foolishness and gullibility, he doesn't believe the newspaper's slander against the Baudelaires. This was also carried over to the TV series. In "The Penultimate Peril: Part Two", he says no one should believe anything in the newspaper and wonders who writes that hogwash, only to be reminded by a hotel guest that his wife does.
The Volunteers Fighting Disease do not read the newspaper because they believe the saying that "no news is good news" because the articles are often depressing. For example, most of them focus on documented deaths, murders, natural disasters, etc.
- Eleanora Poe – Editor-in-Chief[source needed]
- Geraldine Julienne – "Star Reporter"[source needed]
Former staff members
- Jacques Snicket – "Verifying Fernald's Defection," Royal Gardens Arson[source needed]
- Lemony Snicket – Obituary Spellchecker, Drama Critic
- Lemony was fired by Eleanora Poe for his supposedly "bad" review of Al Funcoot's play One Last Warning to Those Who Try to Stand in My Way and its lead actress, Esmé Squalor.
- Reported that the Duchess of Winnipeg was "Deaf" instead of "Dead".
- Refers to Count Olaf as "Count Omar," Violet as "Veronica," Klaus as "Klyde," and Sunny as "Susie."
- Refers the Quagmire triplets as twins.
- Reports Esmé Squalor was kidnapped by "Count Omar", in spite of the fact that she willingly joined him.
- Reports the murder of "Count Omar" by the Baudelaire children despite that they were framed by the real Count Olaf and were actually innocent.
- Reports the Baudelaires as being responsible for numerous crimes.[additional sources needed]
- Reports the supposed death of Lemony Snicket.
- In the TV series, claims Montgomery Montgomery had "snake allergies" and "hated snakes".
- In the TV series, tries to push the narrative that the Baudelaires murdered their parents, Montgomery Montgomery and Josephine Anwhistle because they want their fortune all to themselves.
- "The Daily Punctilio" is an ironic misnomer, as "punctilious" means "showing great attention to detail or correct behavior."
- The paper's motto is "All the News in Fits of Print" which is a humorous twist on the New York Times' motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print."