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Hard-Hitting Journalism
27 April 2009


Since there haven't been any updates in months and months, there's quite a bit of catching up to do. I was still actually writing updates during that period, just not posting them, so there's a guarantee of somewhat regular updates for at least a while.

Let's start by rolling back to Feburary 18th, 2009.

Some days, I despair over the declining literary standards of the general population. On Feburary 18th, 2009, I suddenly wanted to start up a Foundation on Terminus as soon as possible.

The picture on the right can look terribly out of context without its blurb.
Perhaps I am expecting too much from a newspaper that does not even capitalise its name.

It doesn't come out in the picture, but the first paragraph of the article reads:


HOW UNCLEAN IS OUR VALLEY?

Very unclean, sometimes. Especially on Monday morning after the entertainment precint has rocked all weekend. Parts of it are sometimes mean, too. Drunken street people quite often make parts of it an unpleasant place to have to walk through, particularly Brunswick Street West leading up to and beyond the Fiveways at St Pauls Terrace. There's blue language and sometimes fists are thrown in anger.



Then after another paragraph or two acting as captions for the photos at the top, it gets to the actual point of the article - that a local councilman had made a complaint somewhere, to little effect.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS THE FRONT PAGE.

Then, hidden on the page 5 continuation, the only part of the article that could be considered 'news' - that on the Federal Opposition Leader's visit, his staffers deliberately detoured him around the area.

I can't figure out whether this is written by someone very young or very old. My hope is that it was written by the granddaughter of the paper editor, which could account for both outcomes. The writing style belongs to elementary school, but who has ever heard an elementary school kid use the term 'blue language'?!

Even though I know I shouldn't expect much from a local tabloid that doesn't even capitalise its name, a part of me is highly affronted when skimming the front page of a newspaper, and instead getting the feeling that I'm actually reading a children's book. Am I overreacting? I'm actually really annoyed that there's no byline so that I can write a letter to the editor about it. There must be out of work journalism majors out there, please give them something to do!

'Sometimes mean'? Seriously?

There's been a lot of talk about the drop in newspaper circulation lately, and a lot of papers being forced to shut down. This was originally a point of concern, as who is then going to do all of that in-depth reporting that purportedly keeps people accountable? But then again, if we're subjected to this sort of rubbish, maybe we're just as well off without.

I hope this crime against the art of writing has scarred your faith in the future of the human race at least a little.





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