Thursday, October 15

Read all about it . . . but not in our leading newspapers

It's an old tradition in newspapers, and I guess none of us would expect anything different. I'm speaking of articles on the news pages which boast of the paper's success in winning awards.

But now I'm on the other side of the fence – someone who pays for his newspapers, rather than being paid to help produce them – I'm beginning to wonder whether editors owe their readers something better.

"Eleven journalists writing for The Australian are finalists in this year's Walkley awards, including two vying for the Scoop of the Year." That was the Oz's intro to its Page 2 lead story (above) on the success of its people  in Australia's major journalism awards.

The Oz ran colour headshots of all 11 finalists over eight long pars. And it added one final sentence naming two journalists from the rival Melbourne Age and The Sydney Morning Herald who were also finalists for the Scoop of the Year.

At least the Oz was more gracious than the SMH, which reported that "A large number of Herald journalists have been recognised . . . " and named them, but failed to mention any finalist from its rival.

To see the full list of finalists, go to this Walkley Foundation web page (which did not seem right up to date today) and scroll down till you see a link to a PDF file and click on it.

Interesting, isn't it? At a time when media moguls such as Rupert Murdoch are claiming the moral high ground against internet companies like Google, anyone wanting an unbiased report on the Walkley finalists found they'd wasted their money buying his flagship Australian newspaper. Or, for that matter, its rivals.

To get the facts, it was necessary to turn to the internet. And to find the information there, most would have used Google.


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