Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Editing the News

Even more than the newspaper, television news faces a dilemma: how to report horrible tragedies and hilarious/cute human interest stories in the same bulletin. The approach they seem to have settled on is to smile when they are talking about a party for dogs, then put on a serious, frowny face when they report, say, a tsunami. But last night's TV3 news had an especially delightful example. During banter between the main presenters and the sports presenter, the latter came out with this gem about some rugby league player (don't ask me who):
"He's facing a sexual assault charge, but that hasn't cramped his style on the field."
Oh, good. Because I wouldn't want anything as minor as an alleged sexual assault to affect a game of rugby in any way. And yes, to make it better, the lead item on the news was: an (unrelated) sexual assault on a 13-year-old girl.

Practice with me now - smiley face, frowny face, smiley face, frowny face...


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Over the holidays there was a hilarious story about a (possibly mentally disturbed) woman in Germany who climbed over multiple barriers to get into a polar bear cage, where she was seriously mauled.

    How do I know it was funny and not tragic? Despite footage of the bears attacking her and still shots of her screaming in pain, the TVNZ reporter (Peter Wassissface) lilted with humorously intoned lines and mugged at the camera.

    Oh those crazy wild animals.

  3. Jimmy, can I call you Jimmy? Yep? Good. Jimmy, I think you are a guilty of a little Heraldism here, and should have explicitly stated that the rugby league player's sexual assault charge was in no way related to the other story about the 13 year old girl.

    While I'm griping, that sport's presenter obviously has his head up his arse, because said rugby league player's on field style had been severly cramped for the first 4 rounds of this season as he had to watch from the sideline due to being suspended as a result of the sexual assault charge.

    Hadyn, that polar bear didn't go crazy. It went polar bear.

  4. I'm surprised you haven't bitched about the way the Easter road toll gets reported as some kind of relevant statistic cf the previous two years when it's essentially a random number without about 4 decades to compare it to... or is that too obvious?

  5. JP_Rocks (if that is your real name): You're right about the assaults being unrelated. I've edited to make that clear. As for the quote, it may have been slightly different - he could have said that his team weren't letting it cramp their style, or something. Either way, it didn't seem particularly appropriate.

    gazzaj: Funnily enough, I was bitching about the Easter road toll phenomenon last night. If I can find something in the paper, I'll write about it.

  6. It really is a shame that you dont rage on the sports news, because there is a viva-esque abundance of material in that section of our beloved Herald. Writing for editingpeterjessup.blogspot.com would be a full time job of its own.