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Friday, April 29, 2005

Journalism 101

Inevitably, I knew that comparing a night at Walthamstow Dogs to my recent Las Vegas trip would amount to a fool's errand. I should have also worked out that a gulf exists between the training and expertise of the staff on either side of the Atlantic. This skills gap helps to explain the following remark in my inbox today: "Oh, and don't worry about your anti-social behaviour at the tote window. What's £29 between friends?"

I would apologise, but an apology in today's Sun suggested that it could be pointless. "His parents have asked us to make it clear he was not turned into a fireball, was not obsessed with the number 23 and didn't go drinking on that date every month. Julian's mother did not say, during or after the inquest, her son often got on all fours creeping around their house pretending to be Gollum." My question, particularly aimed at my journalism students, is this: how does a reporter 'accidentally' get their facts wrong in so specific a fashion?

Also in today's Sun is a Chuckle Brothers offer you should refuse: "Have you romped with Barry? Ring The Sun newsdesk on 020 7782 4105." Better still, spare us. Take the secret to the grave with you instead. TMI!


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