Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Media Watch pilfers from Crikey.com.au – again

It’s definitely a slow news day, so I was going to just write a simple post on this item from last night’s Media Watch, and how it made me not sorry to have recently cancelled my subscription to the Oz. In future, Greg Sheridan should be given a more appropriate forum in which he can vent forth – something similar to Andrew Bolt’s “column” (= delusional rantings) in a lowbrow tabloid would be a suitable such place, I imagine.

In Googling to write that story (simply to find the offending URL, which Media Watch’s website religiously refuses to provide), I quite accidentally came across this, bigger story – Media Watch’s Greg Sheridan story ran on “Crikey”, in full and a whole ten days earlier. No attribution was given by Media Watch to Crikey, or anyone else.

Given that this is the second time such pilfering has occurred – and from the same source, to boot – it is now time for Media Watch to take decisive action. Over to you, David Marr.

(A copy of this post has been emailed to Media Watch and Crikey)

Update 2 April 2004

No reply has been received from Media Watch to date. After this further sniping by Greg Sheridan (scroll to near end), however, the MW team must now be squirming about the office. No doubt this collective grinding of arses into chair-seats is the most activity the MW office has seen for a while. Certainly, getting up off their arses and doing some research doesn’t seem to have been a job requirement lately.

After this latest Greg Sheridan innings, I’ll leave it mostly to my readers to tote up for themselves the actual score in the underlying and increasingly-complex “He said/He said” game.

I will observe, though, that Sheridan’s defence: “My opinion page column on March 18 involved no inverted commas and did not purport to contain direct quotes” (same URL) while technically true, flies in the face of an ordinary reader’s (= mine, for starters) interpretation. The offending words, given their own stand-alone paragraph in the March 18 article, read thus:

How ridiculous, replied McCutcheon. Nobody says that.

In fairness, then, I think that Sheridan deserved every bit of his pasting on “Crikey”. If he wants to avoid future such run-ins, he just needs to write in ordinary prose, and not construct an almost-invisible semantic tripwire.

On the other hand, Media Watch’s considerable resources, and especially its being within the same media organisation as the McCutcheon program, mean that MW now has a double-serve of egg on its face. MW pilfered the “Crikey” story, and then did not even do elementary checking of it, either with Sheridan or with McCutcheon/his producer.

What’s that you’re saying, David Marr? You reckon “Crikey” should have done the checking, as well as writing your story for you?

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?