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.

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Thursday, 18 May 2017

PICTURES, WORDS, CAPTIONS AND CORRUPTION OF MEANING

Yet again, editorial nonsense has graced the pages of a Kenyan newspaper. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then it's better for words to be banished from pictures, if the caption ruins the meaning of the picture. Of what use it is to seek to add understanding of what's happening in a picture, only to end up subtracting its overall comprehension?


That's what is apparent in the picture above, from a national paper.

It shows people in a sort of commotion, probably fighting or in a physical confrontation.

But instead of adding clarity, the explanation supplied on the side of the photo, heightens the confusion.
"Police officers protect irate women from attacking a suspected conmen..."
What is one supposed to make of this description, members of the press?

- That the women doing the attacking are the ones being protected?

- How do you even 'protect from attacking'?

- And since when is it proper to say, 'a suspected conmen'?

The competence of this sub-editor is suspect, I suspect!




Thursday, 11 May 2017

THE NOT SO OBVIOUS STATEMENT OF THE OBVIOUS

Repetition of facts for emphasis is acceptable in the media  But tautology is usually frowned upon since different words end up repeating the same meaning, where even one word would have sufficed. What remains unbearably irksome though, is the stating of obvious facts.


It might be that editor is unaware of the irritation they are unleashing upon their audience.

Or perhaps steeped in blissful ignorance, the editorial gatekeepers couldn't care less if there's material that doesn't add value but potentially subtract interest levels.

In the above article's postscript, the reader is being told that:
"The writer is a writer..."
If I may add, the writer wrote a well-written write-up!

- This blogger is a blogger, journalist and news editor.




Thursday, 4 May 2017

OF FORGED LAND AND NEWS FORGERIES

The media plays an important role of enlightening the public. Yet, when partaking from Kenyan news outlets, one at times is left feeling dumber. Confused wondering if one could be the only one not understanding the content. Or worse still, convinced that the media cannot be mistaken and whole-heartedly believing even news forgeries.


What does the word forgery actually mean?

According to the online Cambridge dictionary, forgery:
...is an illegal copy of a document, painting, etc. or the crime of making such illegal copies.
So, going by this definition, the heading of the newspaper article above wants the reader to perhaps visualize an original piece of land, and then stretch the imagination a little more and see the accused person making an illegal copy of the same land.

Forged land?

Ridiculous, right?

One is left wondering what wrong one has done to deserve such an editorially-induced mental anguish.