Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jumping the... whale?

With all the fuss around the famously eloquent John Key's upcoming appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, it's easy to forget his other important engagements in New York: addressing the United Nations General Assembly; meeting with Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon (no relation); a brief chat with celebrity/president Barack Obama; and riding along on the back of a whale.

As you can see, the large photo from the front page of today's Herald shows Key demonstrating New Zealand's adventurous spirit as he battles a humpback whale just off New York City, with only a paddle as a weap...

Sorry, what? It's not John Key? It is, in fact, world paddleboarding (look it up) champion Jamie Mitchell - not a New Zealander - paddling off the coast of Australia - not in New Zealand. The story is essentially "Mammal leaves water to breathe".

I can only assume that the Herald is starting a fascinating new front page series on sea creatures leaping out from below the waves.


  1. There's nothing wrong with using a striking picture on page one of a newspaper. Mind you, it's a bit dubious when the picture comes from another country.

    Of course, if the Herald spent some money on local photographers it could get relevant pictures on the cover and send great pictures of New Zealand for lame duck papers around the world to splash on their front pages.

  2. "There's nothing wrong with using a striking picture on page one of a newspaper."

    No, but the Herald has 'form' in this area - of using a striking, but largely irrelevant picture on the front page, above the fold. And then burying actual stories about important stuff actually happening locally inside the paper.

  3. Well yes, what struck me when I finally bother to read today's paper was the sheer lack of content on page one - Whales, TV Soaps etc. All the real news was buried inside.

    It's as if the news editor decided to put everything on the early pages and had nothing left for the late pages - perhaps he wanted to get home early last night.

    Mind you, this happens a lot at the Granny.

  4. An exercise in quick and dirty surrealism - this month's weekday Herald lead images, including today:

    Deer running from wildfire, guy climbing tower, new cellphone, 'face' in glacier, paper self-promotion, grieving family, bruised 5-year-old and bruised cat, kids grabbing trophy, fluorescent hooligan, paper self-promotion, giant eagle skull, robber with umbrella, man climbing on ship, giant on crutches, paper self-promotion, pile of flowers, whale, murder scene.

  5. I really like these big pictures. It saves me reading.

    I like pictures.

  6. Samuel, I can't say I can recall half of the pictures you're suggesting, but thanks for the research.

  7. "Samuel, I can't say I can recall half of the pictures you're suggesting..."

    Herald website digital replicas, which go back to July. Useful.

  8. Giant Eagle Skull would be a great name for a hair metal band.

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