If you feel a news story does not measure up to expected journalistic standards, bring it to the Journalism Dry Cleaner. Through our collective wisdom, we will strip it of all offensive dirt.




Wednesday, 27 April 2016


In my attempt to put together what I humbly thought would be an illuminating piece about the perils of not properly attributing news stories, I inadvertently ended up premising my argument on a highly inaccurate interpretation of a newspaper headline.

This grave error in judgement has since been brought to my attention by a highly erudite former colleague, as indicated in the screen grab from my Facebook wall.

I profusely apologise for any resultant embarrassment to all the entities alluded to in my post and take this early opportunity to also reassure the followers of this blog that I will take extra care to keep such mistakes at the most possible minimal level.

In the interest of having a permanent reminder of my fallibility, when it comes to media criticism, I will leave the original article below, in its purest form of ignominy.

May this be a valuable lesson to me and fellow bloggers!


Objectivity in the media cannot be absolute. It's highly likely there are hidden nuances, selective angling of stories, or even a deliberate bias in coverage, despite the supposed neutrality in serving the public interest. But it's essential for a professional distance to be maintained between the publisher and the published article.

That's why subjectivity indicators like the words 'I', 'we' or 'us' are often frowned upon, when scripting for both electronic or print media, unless in very specific contexts, like when a journalist's personal account adds value to a news story.

And adding value has nothing to do with a TV reporter, e.g., using any excuse to jump in front of the camera, irrespective of how such 'narcissistic' visuals irritate the viewer.

In the newspaper article above, the headline reads:
"Youths: This is how cash set aside for us could be made more beneficial"
So just who exactly is the 'us' being referred to?

The article has a byline, which indicates affiliation to a media entity.

The obvious impression being created then, is that the 'us' has something to do with the newspaper publisher, (the writer perhaps?).

It may look harmless in this instance, but a missing proper attribution might entangle a media house in some serious legal mess, like where negative allegations are being made.

So let's toast to a more responsible writing style:

"To us"


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