Written By: lprent - Date published: 5:33 pm, September 14th, 2008 - 29 comments
Categories: Media - Tags: audrey young, bill english, bill ralston, colin espiner, dpf, jane clifton, matthew hooton, the standard
This week the election was announced and the third question to the PM (asked by Colin Espiner) was about whether The Standard possibly knew the date (Helen doesn’t tell us either). Colin thinks we’re being sensitive about the mainstream media’s attitudes to The Standard as shown in a comment he made on his own blog post (scroll to somewhere near the bottom) (1).
There is a reason for our sensitivity – journalistic competence. There have been a series of comments by ‘professional’ columnists and journalists who have never bothered to check their story details. Now I’d consider that as them being slack and slipshod rather than professional.
My name and contact details have been available for this site since its inception because it is a requirement by InternetNZ that a real person or organization and correct contact details are listed for every domain. Any journalist or columnist could have checked the details of a story about The Standard. To do so would have required that they use our Contact Us or used a standard whois to find out who to talk to to check ‘facts’.
I have never been contacted by any media about the site and (as far as I’m aware) neither has Clinton Smith, even after his details got added to the contacts section. Instead the professionals seem to prefer listening to the technically incompetent making unsupported assertions as repeated by ‘independent’ commentators and opposition politicians without bothering to actually ask anyone at The Standard.
We get supposedly competent columnists like :-
I’m disappointed, too – disappointed you’d resort to infantile language like calling the press gallery – and me in particular – “dicks” because I asked a question about whether the Standard had advance knowledge of the election date. For the record, I asked the question because radio were already reporting the rumour. I asked about 12 questions at the press conference. That was only one of them. All sorts of questions are flung around press conferences. If you want to play at being a journalist, why don’t you get parliamentary accreditation and come down and see for yourself?
Normally we’d welcome the hits. But when an election is being announced…. Please! It simply sounds like the radio talkback was doing its usual inanities. Possibly someone was short of a headline.
Also there is a reason we don’t hang around the press gallery – we’re busy. Read our About on the section Why don’t you post more often/more regularly etc?. This is all done in our spare time and in my case out of my own pocket. Personally I’d like to get more time coding rather than wasting it in a media pack of programming illiterates. Besides Vernon Small makes his attitude plain and I’d tend to agree with him. Bloggers probably do more good by being outside the media pack and filling in their little deficiencies.
1. It is pretty weird that few of the MSM blogs seem to permalink their comments sections. Come on – it isn’t very hard to so, and it’d make it possible to cross-link to a dissenting comment about fact in the original post.
2. It is unfortunate that the blog name The Irascible Curmudgeon has been taken. Bill Ralston fits the phrase perfectly. What other style of journalist would describe Whale’s grasp on technical matters as “good cyber-detective work” – you really have to be out of touch!
Update: It appears that while I’ve been writing this blog that my talented niece Rochelle has been dealing with the same problem of insufficient fact checking on another topic. Looks like I should expend some more time on a post on that topic. In the meantime I’ll change the post title.