The Editorial Line – more candidates for lazy journalism

Aside

In today’s The Guardian piece on Harry Redknapp being sacked by Tottenham, the following nugget was included;

Martínez was a candidate to succeed Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, only for the Merseyside club to appoint Brendan Rodgers.

Now it’s possible David Hytner and the Guardian Sport editorial team may know more than we do, but as far as I know Roberto Martinez neither applied for the job nor was interviewed for the position.

So why why do they persist with such misinformation?

It seems the disease is viral in newsrooms around the world.

The Editorial Line – Electricity Prices in NSW

Some great examples of journalism not allowing facts to get in the way of a good story or the editorial line in the past 24 hours, here’s one from ABC News Radio.
A story on this years NSW electricity hikes was led and ended stating categorically that they were being mostly caused by the dreaded Carbon Tax. This despite the interviewee in the piece repeating his organisations previous guidance that the Carbon Tax was contributing to only part of the increase.
The journalist narrowly focused her interest on the impact of the Carbon Tax on electricity prices, but the piece contained not a mention of the tax changes introduced to help offset potential price increases due to the Carbon Price. Perhaps the embarrassment of sticking so rigidly to talking points from the federal opposition was the reason the interview has not been published at the ABC News Radio site.
The representative from Energy Networks Australia went into great detail on infrastructure investment required of them in recent years to simply meet 40 hours per annum peak demand. The surprise the host showed when this was raised seems to indicate that she doesn’t live in NSW and is unaware there have been year on year increases of around 20% here over the past 5 years to fund that investment.
Which makes me speculate there will be a follow up on the reasons for the recent electricity price rises. One where the editorial team at ABC News Radio Drive will do some research into the nonsense of making electricity transmission infrastructure capable of managing 1 in every 150 day peak loads as if they occurred every day. Someone this week compared that effort to building all roads to be 12 lanes wide so that no one would have to drive at 3km for a few minutes in peak hour.
Assuming of course the ABC editorial line, which in June may require every discussion to include a Carbon Tax angle, allows for this before July 1 when the new electricity pricing comes into force. Conveniently in line with the introduction of Carbon Pricing.
It’s one thing, after all for commercial interests to tell half the story in order to attract listeners, viewers and readers. It’s a whole other when a non-commerical entity misinforms their listeners so as to toe the editorial line.

An illegal immigrant might just be the leader Australia needs

The soon to be Minister for White People who work in recruitment and sit on the beach added another dolt to his quiver this week with his alleged demand for an apology from the ABC. Proving again the middling replacement for our tolerable government will be as visionless as a baby Koala in the daytime.

This from the man who, with his use of fraudulent, emotional terms in his ambition for leadership, would prefer to create an unexceptional society similar to the suburban pokie infested social club of his electorate. One which might surprise those who come from afar, who imagine our society is more like a rip-roaring Rolling Stones set than the tressed Austrian fiddler we’re actually a little more partial to.

She’ll be right though, we’ll become the RSL of the southern hemisphere. A place where we can moulder in the halcyon days of our youth rocking to a cavalcade of washed up nobodies and feed our slot machines with never emptying pots of gold. And nobody, and especially not the Minister for Stop the Boats, will respond badly when we loudly proclaim our expectation of unlimited welfare for all.

Like The Rolling Stones blowing America away with Little Red Rooster on Ed Sullivan in 1965, you used to have to inspire the people to be rewarded with leadership. These days our leaders appear to just sit back and bore the world to death by press release. Sort of like a political André Rieu, they know their insipid subversions will, without question, be rebroadcast by the media consumed by the apathetic.

The current disregard for both sides of politics in this country shows, clearly, there’s room for a leader to inspire people like me off our collective behinds. No longer kicking our heels, rather looking forward to going back to the top of the slide and taking a ride, as it were.

Perhaps that person once got on a boat to escape poverty, destruction or some other life impacting situation. And illegally arrived in Australia against the wishes of the Minister for White Australia.

I could rock like the Ed Sullivan show to that.

Link

This WIRED cover from 1997  was shared by @gravitron on twitter earlier.

I remember a whole lot about that time at Apple, and I know we pinned stuff like this to the walls of our cubicles and worked hard to bring out great products like MacOS 8, the first G3 PowerMacs and the original iMac.

Probably not as sexy as the last 10 years, but the stability those products brought to the company was paramount in those days.

And far more effective than prayer.

The Battle for Robot Puke

When QR codes are, except in jest, referenced in the future at an event I’m attending, I will in future calmly put my worldly goods into my bag, get my coat and make silently, but with haste for the nearest exit. It will, naturally, be a marketing event so perhaps I should be more wary of the content of said events before I join.

These charming little examples of what poor sick robots vomit prompt polarised reactions among those who encounter them. There’s those like me who consider them great for their intended purpose in the factory. There’s 99.9% of the population who have either never used one or simply “use” them in order to get a tumblr. And then there’s marketers (and real estate agents, but they’re a subset).

Australian News Media Publisher, Fairfax, has developed an alternative called, oddly enough, Airlink. It’s got a nice logo and, aside from sounding like a bus service to the airport, seems to have exactly the same use case as our little friends so beloved of your average marketer. I’m sure it has the same focus on metrics, analytics as said robot puke. Which is another reason why lots of people will use it. 

It’s not that QR Codes are evil or even ugly. It’s just that in the age of the quicker Google search on your phone they have no customer benefit to anyone except the person creating them or using them to leverage their campaign. Hell they’re so popular, we’re even pretty safe from the viruses some of them allegedly carry.

I mean, what the hell even is this? Are we drinking Guinness or performing acts of cocktail drinker self gratification?

It’s been almost two years since I first wrote about their pointlessness and yet they still keep being foisted upon us like a Skoda Car. When will they ever just leave the little guys to go home to the factories they grew up in and grow old without ridicule.

It’s not hard to use NFC instead, after all!

Opting out of Wordads. Because Paypal.

Aside

You might have guessed that I host these series of rambles on WordPress.com. Which means, of course, if I’d rather not have their advertising on the site, I need to pay them to opt-out. Fair enough, it’s not as if I’m paying for the service and it’s stable with pretty much 100% uptime.

Recently I got invited to take part in Wordads. Wordads allows you to get a share of the revenue that Automattic (the owners of WordPress) make from advertising on your weblog. Sounded interesting until I read the terms of the service. Among other interesting things I’d need to agree to, I discovered that I’d need a PayPal account.

Guess I’ll be deciding whether I’m happy with the Google ads currently displayed or want to add another $30 a year to the $13 I’m already paying Automattic for the domain then.

I’m sure they’ll make more money out of me that way, anyway.

Link

Australian National Minimum Wage versus Median Income

Interesting graph from Matt Cowgill. I’m unclear whether we should expect anything other than this when you consider the economic growth in this country over the past 15 years. I don’t know if you put down the relative flattening of the last 5 years to the Labor Governments or the general global economic uncertainty since the GFC.

I’ll leave both questions to the economists to explain.