Friday, July 23, 2010

Journalism fail x2

Can there be any profession apart from popular music in which the gap between the good and the bad is as wide as it is in journalism? In Australia, in the corner of intelligence, ethics and the cause of truth, we have journalists like George Megalogenis, Michelle Grattan, David Marr, Margaret Simons, Laura Tingle, you write your own list. In the opposing corner, we have, well, you write your own list. It'll be longer.

Yesterday two things stood out, journalism-wise, and neither of them was pretty. There was the serious issue of national political reporting, which Bernard Keane sums up brilliantly in this morning's special election edition of Crikey:

The media obsess about Kevin Rudd and then use their obsessing about it as evidence that Rudd is “distracting” from the Labor campaign.

From the sublime to the ridiculous, except that it wasn't at all ridiculous if you're an animal lover, here in Adelaide we had an exotic (and gorgeous, look) young macaw called Tambopata escape from the Zoo. It spent a day and a night flying from tree to tree around the Adelaide CBD and Parklands. Not only was it skittishly evading capture, and trying to get away from the magpies and crows that were attacking it, but it was also trying to get away from the media pack that was following it around frightening the bejesus out of it as they hustled and chattered and scampered and bumped each other out of the way every time it settled in a tree from which it might have been lured down by Zoo staff. By the time they finally caught the poor thing yesterday morning, the bird people from the Zoo must have been ready to throttle anything carrying a microphone or a camera.

If you go to that link and read the story you'll see a number of very, very Adelaide remarks in the comments thread:  among the expected gibes about murderous crows and so on, one punter observes 'Funny if the pandas ate it.'


Mindy said...

So we are in election mode and the media are chasing a frightened parrot. Maybe they thought they could get a good soundbite and pretend it was Tony?

It's probably a shame that zoo staff didn't lose their tempers.

Ann ODyne said...

oh the poor parrot.
ineptitude even at the zoo.
So many employed people take their wages under false pretences!
I need a Conroy Filter to censor my own web experience of:
every thing on frightened animals.
Yesterdays headline of
'whale hits yacht'
made me immediately think
"oh the poor whale".

ditto what Mindy said.

Emily said...

This has to be a metaphor for the current election. Adelaide always has much more exciting news than Melbourne - you lucky people.

ThirdCat said...

I felt well-home when I was eating breakfast yesterday listening to the news of the bird...I've always wondered about those birds you know, because we saw them doing their fly-around quite often when the lads were little. It always seemed amazing to me that they didn't fly away.

Mitzi G Burger said...

I try not to confuse the macaw with the macaque. Or crap journalism with credible.