The Daily Punctilio is the main newspaper read in the City and is often read in its surrounding areas such as the Hinterlands. It is very popular and information in it is spread like wildfire, and becomes a source of annoyance for the Baudelaire children in A Series of Unfortunate Events.
This tabloid is often portrayed in the series as an unreliable source of information and often gets the facts wrong. It often distorts (unknown if intentionally or not) the truth to the extent that it can be considered propaganda and fake news. Their headlines are often sensationalist, possibly because it entices more readers and generates more profits. The misinformation is subsequently spread throughout people who believe it is true. The newspaper often focuses on gossip and trivial affairs, often with ridiculous and absurd headlines, such as: "POLICE SEARCH FOR MISSING MUSTACHE."
Not only that, the newspaper is also often unprofessional in general. For example, instead of simply retelling the facts and being a source of news, the newspaper often includes personal essay-like writing and opinion pieces, such as having 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.
Role in A Series of Unfortunate Events
The newspaper is most relevant in the series in The Vile Village. The Daily Punctilio reported that Veronica, Klyde and Susie Baudelaire were responsible for murdering "Count Omar" (intended to be Count Olaf, but this is another mistake as it was really Jacques Snicket). This shows how false reporting can ruin lives, as the Baudelaires are on-the-run as murder suspects.
The newspaper begins launching a smear campaign against the Baudelaires, although in the TV series, it is shown the newspaper begun slandering them before The Vile Village. This may be because there are implications the newspaper is tied to the Fire-Starting Side of V.F.D., such as Geraldine Julienne.
Opinions on the newspaper
Violet Baudelaire, while reading a misinformed article, says "Ugh! If I invented something as sloppily as this newspaper writes its stories, it would fall apart immediately."
Klaus says, "If I read books as sloppily, I wouldn't remember one single fact."
Sunny says, "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 the foolishness and gullibility of Mr. Poe, he doesn't believe the newspaper's slander against the Baudelaires.
The Volunteers Fighting Disease does not read the newspaper because they believe "no news is good news" because the news is often depressing, such as focusing on 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
- 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 to the Quagmire triplets as twins.
- Reports Esmé Squalor was kidnapped by "Count Omar" when she willingly joined him.
- Reports the murder of "Count Omar" by the Baudelaire children, despite that they were innocent and framed by the real Count Olaf.
- 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.
Behind the scenes
- "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."