Archive for June, 2010

The Guardian goes cherry-picking

June 30, 2010 Leave a comment
Guardian headline about job cuts

Up to a point, Lord Copper

I will leave it to the more knowledgable bean-counting bloggers such as here to point out the errors of today’s more-egregious-than-ever front page Guardian splash.

Briefly, what the Speccie et al point out that the Guardian has only picked up on the 1.3m job losses the Treasury predicts in the public sector, but ignores the 2.5m job gains predicted in the private sector.

No newspaper or any other media outlet is immune from cherry-picking to back up its arguments, of course. But while we usually write off such tactics in the Sun, Mirror and Mail as typical tabloid excess, it’s more worrying when it appears in a front page lead in a newspaper of so-called record.

But then you remember that the Guardian is yer go-to-guy when it comes to public sector employment vacancies, particularly of the “Community Space Challenger Co-ordinator” and “Inclusivity Totem-pole Artist” sort.

Not that that would sway it one way or t’other, would it?

Categories: Spectator, The Guardian

A sure giveaway…

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Mail’s coverage about the Russian spy ring, about one of the arrested couples:

Another neighbour told the New York Times: ‘They couldn’t have been spies. Look what she did with the hydrangeas.’

Personally, I’ve always had my suspicions about Alan Titchmarsh…

There’s a new detective in town

June 29, 2010 Leave a comment

From the BBC:

The CBI has yet to announce Mr Lambert’s replacement, but the lobby group said it had appointed headhunters Saxton Bampfylde to begin the search.

No Napoleon of Crime is safe when Saxton Bampfylde is on the case…

Categories: BBC Tags: ,

First, bedeck your own house with a logo

June 25, 2010 1 comment

Good Housekeeping logoIn his blog today, the Pythia of Journalism ™ urges his readers to click to this article by Jim Barnett on the NeimanLab site, saying:

Barnett argues that “journalism non-profits could use something like a Good Housekeeping seal”… It is “a test of relatively simple, objective standards to which compliance could be demonstrated plainly.”He believes that the seal would indicate in a public way that the outlet was “making every effort to produce reporting that qualifies as journalism.” Read more…

Which is it, then?

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Standard headline

Evening Standard, July 22

Telegraph headline

Daily Telegraph, same date

Would it be cynical to ask which reporter might have got lunched?

Categories: churnalism, The Telegraph Tags: ,

In Hollywood, there’s only one newspaper…

June 20, 2010 Leave a comment

…and in something reminiscent of Groundhog Day, they all read it again and again and again:

newspaper movie prop

I read the news today, oh boy: Again and again and again has picked up on the mysterious recurring newspaper which keeps popping up in movies and TV shows.

And no, I don’t know who the girl in the photo is, but she’s probably doing OK out of the royalties.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,


June 19, 2010 Leave a comment

From the Sevenoaks Chronicle:

Sevenoaks Chronicle report

Sub-prime subbing: The Sevenoaks Chronicle

Um… “affect”, anyone?

Coming soon…

June 17, 2010 Leave a comment
Catios for cats in New York apartments

Pussies galore: Catios provide a little touch of Guatameno for your pets

Expect this nonsense to cross the Atlantic and appear across acres of “lifestyle” magazines, newspaper supplements etc aimed at the twitterati class some time soon.

Categories: Uncategorized

Ambush by arrogance

June 16, 2010 Leave a comment

Bob Etheridge and YouTube studentA lot of bloggers have been having fun with this video, usually with a headline along the lines of “Democrat Congressman assaults student on Washington sidewalk” or some such.

I must admit I am not Bob Etheridge-conscious. I have no idea where he is on the American political scale of angels and demons, what his voting record is, nor indeed anything else about him.

What I do know is that:

1) On the scale of politicians’ assaulting members of the public, he is hardly John Prescott;

2) Call me old-fashioned, but when I was a student journalist, we had drummed into us that unless you had a very good reason for going undercover, you always identified yourself and the news organisation you represented. “I’m a student, sir” doesn’t cut it. Neither does “I’m doing a project, sir”. The fact that Etheridge challenges the student and his cameraman to identify who they are several times and gets the same answer doesn’t excuse his boorish reaction, but it does make me suspect there’s more to this than the “students” are letting on.

As does the rather lame question that prompts this ambush interview: “Do you fully believe in the Obama agenda?”

An open-and-shut case of “MeTube Journalism”, I think.

Useful new phrase

June 15, 2010 Leave a comment

The Guardian’s report on the trials and tribulations of German chancellor Angela Merkel includes this:

Merkel called at the weekend for the government partners to bury the hatchet over their disagreements after a week when relations reached such a low that members of her government had variously referred to each other as “wild pigs” and “gherkin troops” (rank amateurs).

Hmmm…”gherkin troops”. I like it. But whence does it derive? A cack-handed translation from German? The only military reference to gherkins I can find on the web say that Napoleon fed gherkins to his troops and the 40% of the US “pickle” (as they call them) production during WWII went to the troops.

Well, you could hardly call the Grande Armée “rank amateurs” and while many US troops in WWII were undertrained and casual in their attitude to authority, they did play a major part in the Allied victory, so why the derogative meaning?

The Telegraph has it as “Gurkentruppe” or “cucumber troops”, which it translates as “bunch of idiots”. That doesn’t take matters much further.

The other question to be asked is: “How long before Matthew Parris claims he introduced it to British media?”

UPDATE: Andrew Hammel’s useful site for all things German is on the case, so perhaps we’ll know the answers to these mysteries soon.