2004-04-16 : The ‘Tiser ? Should be called the Shizer…
Now by no means is this an offical statement based on survey or statistics, nor should it be taken as authoratative, but I've got to say – based on the number of people I've talked to about this, I find it quite widely accepted that our city's newspaper (and we've only really got one) is an abject load of cobblers.
This disturbs me greatly, as I know a number of people who have studied or are studying to be journalists, and the amount of diligence they put into their study. And yet it all seems futile if they're going to get a job working for an outfit that produces A Grade Fertiliser like the Advertiser !
I guess what prompted this post was the quick glance I had this morning at today's paper, particularly the story about the study in Europe which has found that Wagner's “Ride of the Valkyries” is the number 1 song to not listen to whilst driving. Now, the bit that intrigued me was the construction of that sentence. The Number 1 song to not listen to whilst driving. You'd think that even iff the story came off a news service, they'd still pass it by a sub editor or something ??
The list of examples as to why this paper sucks is virtually endless, and this morning's had about 4 in there, but since getting to work I've forgotten what most of them were. However another one which I'll never forget was an interview with a local Aboriginal Elder, who was claiming that Colonel William Light (for those who don't know – Col. Light was the guy who planned out the Adelaide CBD layout & location) must have been in touch with the spirits of the land, because the CBD of Adelaide is shaped like a kangaroo. Apparently the guy had come to this realisation when he was driving down Port Road, and the gentle curve in it reminded him of the curve in a kangaroo's tail. The story then had a simple map of the Adelaide CBD and parklands, and a dark line tracing the streets which formed the kangaroo shape… it SORT of looked like a kangaroo, providing you tilted your head to one side and squinted a bit, and ignored the fact that a good 4/5 of the streets weren't included in this amazing find.
Now I'm all for ancient beliefs and indiginous significance, but I've got to say – this story was outright tripe, and you'd think there were more important things to devote an entire page to.
Another great story was a virtually blow-by-blow account of an in-traffic altercation that happened on North Tce and followed over on to Kintore Ave. Luckily there was an Advertiser cameraman on location to capture shots of one guy punching the other guy. The whole thing had a sort of “print version of Funniest Home Videos” about it. No need to try to break up the fight, just so long as you get plenty of juicy footage.
It's kind of amusing really that earlier this week there was a story in Wired News about how a reporter in Beijing had taken a story in The Onion seriously and printed it in their paper, causing a bit of a stir and probably doing nothing for the credibility of their paper. What's funny is that The Onion's been mistaken for a genuine newspaper, and The Advertiser probably hasn't.