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Monday, December 05, 2005

Credibility divide

The Stuff site is quite useless really. So I can't link to the useless editorial of the useless Editor of Fairfax's useless Sunday Star-Times. I say useless because as I have observed, generally speaking, female editors tend to see the news in very different terms to males. Gossipy, celebrity-centred and petty is how the SST appears. The contention here is that those traits are female and the female editor is responsible for that focus.

I have said elsewhere (and to some measure of hostility) that females in the press can tend also to be fixated on themselves when composing interviews and also blasé with technical details to the point of gross inaccuracy - ironic considering the often pedantic attention paid to irrelevant aspects of some topics. Men no doubt have their faults too, but the matter in hand does not relate to them. I cite the recent case below as but one example of many to illustrate my unfashionable mysogynistic fixation concern for press standards.

In yesterday's SST editorial on page A2, "Death Divide," Brett wrote, under her signature, about the execution in Singapore of an Australian drug smuggler. Three times in that very cursory article she referred to Lee Kuan Yew:

...and placed Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew under renewed pressure...
...many Australians applaud the tough minded approach adopted by Lee Kuan Yew ...
Perhaps Van's legacy will be to give the brave Singaporeans lobbying Lee Kuan Yew a stronger platform for Reform.
Cate Honoré Brett

Newsflash, Cate, Lee Kuan Yew retired as Prime Minister 15 years ago! His son, Lee Hsien Loong became PM last year and has been fronting the TV coverage over this issue to boot. Maybe she's confused; maybe she can't tell them apart? Is she senile? Maybe she's saying that people should by-pass the PM and go to the old PM?

To get it wrong three times is just so shoddy. Would a Singapore newspaper in four paragraphs refer to Lange as the NZ PM three times? I think not. And do you think Brett could care less about that sort of inaccuracy? I doubt she would give it a second thought. After reading that effort of hers you have to wonder what other casual mistakes are being routinely made at the SST. People who are intelligent and know their own limitations, who do not make lazy assumptions, who admit they are wrong and correct their faults tend not to make errors in the nature of the SST Editor. She sets the tone and credibility for the whole newspaper and like any leader sets an example for everyone under her. Oh dear.


At 5/12/05 4:38 p.m., Blogger Russell Brown said...

Bugger. I was hoping no one else would notice that ...



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