Used to be quite a good paper

We agree that this is something of a minority sport. The manner in which the nation’s newspapers are now written by young shavers instead of grizzled veterans means a certain lack of bottom among them. People just not quite getting the nub of the story that is given the general lack of worldly experience. This is made worse by the manner in which subediting is now simply seen as a cost to be minimised* rather than an essential part of the production process. Which provides that opening for the sport, the correction of newspaper stories.

Which is what leads to this sort of thing:

Porkers no more: Britain’s pigs are almost half as lean as they were in the 1970s as farmers phase out fatty cuts of pork, bacon and ham

Well, no, not really, that headline directly contradicts the subhead:

British pigs are now on average 44 per cent leaner than they were in the 1970s

And as the story itself says:

While Britons face daily warnings about obesity, the nation’s pigs are getting skinnier – or at least leaner.

A new study has found that, on average, British pigs are some 44 per cent leaner than they were in the 1970s.

The headline could read that pigs are twice as lean as they were, half as fat as they were, but not half as lean, that’s the wrong way around.

Back in 2004, 2005, during that first irruption of blogging into the news ecosystem, a common enough cry on finding such an error was “Don’t these people have editors?” and the sadness is that now, no, they don’t.


*We can talk of course, we have no subbing at all but still….

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8 COMMENTS

  1. And all because of the diet/heart disease hypothesis, which is – as far as I can tell – baloney. That’s “baloney” as in hooey, rubbish, bollocks, not baloney as in a sausage made from pork, beef, veal, and mysterious “other meats”.

  2. Proper pork from a good butcher is still satisfyingly fatty.

    I have noticed that even allegedly rightist newspapers espouse a certain floppy leftism, especially on social issues. A photo byline usually provides the explanation; the articles are written by whey-faced pouting children.

  3. And all because of the diet/heart disease hypothesis, which is – as far as I can tell – baloney. That’s “baloney” as in hooey, rubbish, bollocks, not baloney as in a sausage made from pork, beef, veal, and mysterious “other meats”.

  4. Proper pork from a good butcher is still satisfyingly fatty.

    I have noticed that even allegedly rightist newspapers espouse a certain floppy leftism, especially on social issues. A photo byline usually provides the explanation; the articles are written by whey-faced pouting children.