Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Won't somebody think of the children?

At the top of page 4 of yesterday's Adelaide Advertiser, there was a report, rhetorically framed in full-on tut-tut mode (the phrase 'shocking behaviour' was used and it was not a quotation), about sexually inflected behaviour among SA primary school students, with 42 reports of actual sexual assault.

Now, I agree that this is appalling, though anyone with any kind of clear memory knows that sexually motivated behaviour in the later years of primary school has been around forever and was often quite nasty, not least because in my day and earlier, you didn't talk about it, and if you had, you would not have been believed. Being a girl was, in that respect, almost as much jolly fun as being a woman. And as for British boys' schools ...

But this is not to the point. The point was political reporter Michael Owen's tone, which was dominated by that tabloid-journalism favourite, horrified righteous indignation, that we have all come to know and love so well.

Owen reported that SA Education Minister Jane Lomax-Smith had ascribed the children's behaviour to the fact that 'today's students [are] increasingly exposed to inappropriate forms of media.'

The article had a big black headline:

Alarm over lewd students

At the top of Page 5, directly opposite, there was an item about the revamping of the high school science curriculum, for students in Year 10 or younger, to make it more "relevant". And the big black headline on this one?

Formula to sex up science



Anonymous said...

I noticed that one, too. The Advertiser is so *low* -- full of hypocritical and whining, politically biased beat-ups, not to mention all the factual errors, contradictory reporting, grammatical & spelling errors. Why are we lumbered with such a rag? Oh, for a decent South Australian paper!


Amanda said...

I was in Adelaide over the weekend and bought Monday's 'Tiser to check the movie listings because I had a day to kill til my plane -- I gave up reading it after a few pages but felt a little satisfied that it isn't only us in Sydney that have to put up with a paper like that!

hallidite said...

Nice catch.

Jacqui, Amanda, yes yes yes, the papers here are horrible. I'd say that reading the Tiser is like eating baby food, except baby food isn't poisonous.
Anyway, 'swhy I switched to reading feminist blogs.