Friday, 17 July 2009

Good news, "good news" and bad journalism

At work, we get a media review each morning, showing where Kew has had press coverage lately, and also covering other things that might be of interest, or of use to us to know about. Sometimes one can get distracted by it; it's a quiet Friday and I've strayed into the website of the Grauniad. And so I have some good "news" (or rather, an inspiring opinion piece);

And then there's someone having an interesting struggle with some other "good news";

Pity their coverage of the Royal Ballet's visit to Havana is so embarrassing. Cuba isn't a perfect society by any means (nowhere else is either, in case you haven't noticed); but it isn't Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge, either. The phrase "...since Castro's guerillas seized power" really got up my nose. I expect something a little more considered from what purports still to be a respectable and reputable left-of-centre newspaper. That whole "Aargh, they're Commies!" riff is so dated, man! Seriously, though, I just don't think it's very good journalism to trot out a snappy but inaccurate description that doesn't say anything - except that the writer isn't knowledgeable enough about twentieth century history to differentiate between different types of socialism.

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