Monday, November 2, 2009

Pass the twink, Peter

Just when you think that missing an apostrophe in an article about a cat falling off a balcony is about as low as the Herald could go, something happens that would make the editor of a school newspaper blush.

The Herald has been marking the first anniversary of the National government with a series of polls and profiles. Today's edition has a typically hard-hitting feature on Judith Collins - "'Crusher' Collins: Hardline and Happy" - but Saturday's had the results of a Herald-Digipoll survey on people's perceptions of the government. One of the questions concerned preferred Prime Minister; from Saturday's print edition:


Oh yeah; John Key, Helen Clark - that's pretty stupid - Phil Goff, Winston Peters (!), Peter Sharples, Rus... wait, Peter Sharples? Presumably, any political journalist should know how to spell the name of the Minister of Maori Affairs and co-leader of the Maori Party - it's Pita Sharples. Did anyone actually look at this major graphic before it went to print?

The mistake was picked up eventually, of course. The necessary adjustment was made to the online version, and you'll be pleased to know that the Herald dealt with the error in a mature and sensible way:

Let's zoom in for a closer look:

Is that... twink? Alternatively, a Herald intern has taken to the graphic with Microsoft Paint. That's right, adding insult to insult, and rather than slightly redoing the graphic to get the name of a minister of the Crown correct, the paper have decided that the best approach is to write over it in a way that would shame an amateur theatre society newsletter.

I understand resources are tight. So my proposal for a solution is going to take that into account: from today on, Herald, you're going to have to do all your work in pencil until you've earned the privilege of using pen.

14 comments:

  1. Question: Why are Sharples and Norman listed but not Turia and Turei?

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  2. I'm not sure what the actual methodology is for this question. Perhaps no one preferred them?

    Does anyone know whether respondents are given a list to choose from, or just volunteer their own responses?

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  3. Might be interesting to see a poll about who we DON'T want to see as Prime Minister. But it may be way too predictable, starting with Rodney Hide, Gery Brownlee, Murray McCully etc

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  4. I think it's a volunteered response, but it was years ago that I got called for one of these and my memory is hazy at best.

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  5. Why are Sharples and Norman listed but not Turia and Turei

    Because the Herald didn't even want to TRY spelling Metiria or Tariana :-)

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  6. I'd be surprised if it was a completely volunteered response - I'd imagine you'd get a whole bunch of people saying they'd prefer Richie McCaw or Luke Skywalker or their cousin Mike.

    And if respondees ARE given a list with Helen Clark included, it's pretty damn disingenuous poll. OF COURSE a good swathe of Labour voters would prefer her to Goff - she was one of our most popular PM's ever - but she isn't in the game anymore, and leaving her in the options just serves as a nasty trick to make Goff look bad/worse. I guess the Herald has to make sure they fulfill their Key cheerleading quota for the week?

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  7. The top 8 only add to 75% - so maybe there are a whole lot of Yodas and Brian Tamakis that didn't make the 0.3% cut.

    The high number of "others" suggests it is volunteered - unless there's a huge number of "don't knows" there must be at least 75-100 individuals scoring less than 0.3%

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  8. I did one of these by phone the other week and there wasn't a list, it was just 'Who would you prefer as Prime Minister?'

    I said John Key but only because I fear change.

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  9. You'll find the l in Phil Goff is also slightly screwy...methinks someone had a right play with it.

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  10. Jeez, things really are getting a bit tough over at Amateurville. Perhaps we could all send them some twink (and maybe a calculator or two) to help them out at this trying time.

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  11. What is 'twink'? The only definition I can find is a boyish looking gay.

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  12. oh dear oh dear oh dear! Nice blog.

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  13. It's NZ's leading brand of correction fluid. Like White Out or Liquid Paper or whatever the heck the rest of the world calls it.

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