On taking mistakes seriously

August 11th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I got a small mention in the latest edition of a trade magazine as part of a press release about our company. For a cut and paste job, they got it completely arse about face, but in my mind it wasn’t a big important announcement, just a little bit of guff about us, so no big deal.

This is the apology we received (my emphasis)…

Hi [snip],

My sincere apologies for the factual errors in the [snip] article. It was myself who wrote the piece for this page, and I can only apologise for the errors.

We will of course print the correct details in the next edition of the magazine. I will also write a summary of the changes at [snip] to publish on the [snip] website today.

Perhaps it would be best if we can arrange a meeting with [snip] to apologise in person and also see about their plans for the future?

They may not have the circulation of the dailies or an agenda to keep to, so are more forthcoming with a ‘sorry’, but still, it’s nice to see someone in some part of the media take mistakes seriously.

Meet the media-watchers

August 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

I suppose you could call this a press release…

A small group of liberal elitists behind The Sun: Tabloid Lies, Mail Watch, Express Watch and other personal attacks on common sense and decency will be meeting for a London-centric Chardonnay-quaffing* session at The Monarch in Camden at 2:30pm on Saturday 6th August, 2011.

Members of the public are invited to attend, provided they are not operating under the constraints of an imaginary legal device.

Those attending may be exposed to furtive whispers about media standards as a spectacle, media-watching as a sport, and other aspects of the vast left wing conspiracy to impose accuracy and accountability on a self-regulated system that’s doing just fine without our incessant meddling.

[*There may be some drinking of popular colas and lager beer, purely for the sake of appearances, should a photo opportunity arise. PS – bring a camera.]

Media Watch Meet-up

6th August 2011
The Monarch in Camden:

Bags will be searched for pie

I, unfortunately, won’t be able to make it but it’ll still be worth making your way there.

On linking out

August 5th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Robert Sharp is correct

Linking out, regardless of whether you agree with the person you”re linking to, should be the standard for blogging, just as it is for academia. It is the link to sources which gives the work credibility.

In contrast, anonymous gossip disguised as lobby reporting is one of the reasons why there is so little trust in journalists at the moment (a topic discussed at the recent POLIS journalism conference, where I asked a panel of spin doctors and hacks whether the press should abolish anonymous sources)… and the fact that a tabloid does not have to cite its sources is one of the reasons why #Hackgate could happen.

This goes back to the dilema of not giving your opponents publicity or letting your readers see the source of your anger/opposing arguement so they can judge for themselves how justified your view is.

In the case of the Daily Mail and other tabloid sites there is Istyosty.com (sorry if I’m beginning to sound like a cheerleader) which caches the page and reduces to the hit count of visitors to the page, doesn’t show the adverts that are on the original and doesn’t show up in search results.

For others the only choice you have, that I know of, is to use the “nofollow” tag in the hyperlink. The target page still gets the visitor hits as your reader visits the page but search engines do not count the link and so using the “nofollow” tag will not help the target page rise up through the SERP rankings.

A link using the “nofollow” tag looks like this when you’re writing your post…

<a href="http://example.com" rel=”nofollow”>anchor text</a>

(The “nofollow” tag is in bold, if you couldn’t see it)

I’m sorry if this is teaching you to suck eggs, but there really is no excuse for not linking to source material, unless it really is dispicable content you’re writing about.

C’mon, we’re better than that, aren’t we?

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