Scheduling shame

September 6, 2009

Q&A won the award for best current affairs series at last night’s Qantas Awards.

It’s a pity that it screens at 9 o’clock on Sunday mornings.

It doesn’t have a lot of competition. But if it’s the best current affairs programme in the country, TVNZ should schedule it at a time when it would be more convenient for more people to watch it.


Announcing The Mediocres

May 17, 2009

Had I attempted to file a story which cast aspersions on someone and included the statement “There is no evidence to support this impression,” the report says. when I was working for a newspaper I’d have been told to find some proof and re-read the law on defamation.

Had I attempted to file a story questioning the timing of a marriage I’d have been told that it is not a journalist’s job to seek and report on the feelings of grieving friends and relatives.

It’s only a few weeks since I asked what’s happened to the gatekeepers?

These two stories from the last couple of days are just the most recent examples which show that either the gatekeepers have gone or they’ve lost the ability to differentiate between news and gossip.

The Qantas Awards celebrate what’s supposed to be the best in New Zealand journalism. Cactus Kate questions that which made me think: the Skeptics have an annual Bent Spoon Award,  Fair Go has its Worst Ad Award,  is it time for a competition to find the lowest of the low in the media?

I think it is and am using the working title of  The Mediocres for them; but I’m open to a name which better illustrates that the award  is not for journalism which isn’t good, it’s for journalism which is really bad.

I’m open to suggestions of who could judge theses awards and the criteria to be used.

Macdoctor’s definition of spam journalism: The spurious use of sensational headlines to add spice to an otherwise pointless article would be a good starting point – he’s already up to #32 in his series. But there’s a lot more to bad journalism than headlines which aren’t supported by the facts in the story.

In the interests of inclusion there will be a category for blogs too.

Monkeywithtypewriter thinks it’s time to consider a voluntary code for blogs. I don’t think that would work because those likely to adhere to the code will blog responsibly anyway and those who don’t won’t. But a Mediocre would stick a badge of shame on the worst.

The award needs a name, judges, judging criteria and nominations – your views and suggestions are welcomed.

P.S. If there’s a category for published typso typos in blogs I’d have to nominate myself.


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