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6090 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 26872 6-Oct-2008 12:39
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Just about every tech related news paper ariticle in the country seems to be full of inaccuracies, and the poor public dont have a chance of piecing this stuff together, todays one from the Dominion post on TCLs upcomming PVR

TVNZ has so far refused to let Sky rebroadcast its new high- definition channels TVNZ6 and TVNZ7 to subscribers.

Obviously to get a job in the media needs no qualification in knowing what your subject is.


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588 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 169283 6-Oct-2008 12:56
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Seems quite common.  We saw this little gem in Computerworld a few months back aboiut my employer...
Computerworld: ANZ already has some experience with Systematics. Before the National Bank was sold to ANZ, it was running Systematics, but the two banks’ core systems were subsequently consolidated as Hogan on the one mainframe.

Ah that hasn't happened, we're still running two separate core systems.

Post-geek, opinionated mediaphile, and natural born cynic. Jack of all genres, master of none.

54 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 171347 15-Oct-2008 19:56
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As someone who's worked in the print media for 15 years - 13 of them as a newspaper reporter - I feel obliged to put forward the other side of the story. (no, it's not the DomPost I work for).

First up, reporters need to simplify things absolutely for their stories; saw somewhere a while ago the average reading age is about 14, and when you combine that with many people having no knowledge of tech stuff, the media is on a hiding to nothing.
To make a story on a specialised topic digestable for the mass market, it's almost inevitable that people with a decent understanding of the topic will be able to point to holes or inaccuracies resulting from simplification.

Second, a lot of newspapers still don't have reporters who have a solid understanding of tech issues; that's obviously not the case (presumably) for a specialised tech magazine.
It's often a case of some poor reporter being sent out with no warning to cover a topic they don't understand properly. They often have to interview a computer expert or similar who no doubt knows the tech stuff inside out but is unable explain in normal English what he's talking about.
Not all tech people are unable to make that translation from techspeak to English, but in my experience a lot are.

Is that an excuse? No. A decent reporter can work around the problems. And there is never an excuse for absolutely wrong material being printed.

But reporting is a little more complcated than taking notes and copying them out for publication. If it wasn't, we would get the same pay as secretaries.

If you're ever approached by the media to talk on tech stuff, best thing you can do is try your hardest to explain things accurately in basic terms - and make sure the reporter understands it.
If you're unable to make them understand, call in a friend to help you.
And tell the reporter you're more than happy for them to call if they want to check something when they're putting the story together - take it from me, they'll appreciate it, and the odds of mistakes will drop dramatically.



3019 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 171381 15-Oct-2008 22:49
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blairm: First up, reporters need to simplify things absolutely for their stories; saw somewhere a while ago the average reading age is about 14

This, I take it, includes proof readers? Wink

But seriously, I understand where both sides of the story are coming from but have to say that, IMO, the media need to make some huge improvements in the way they report and the way editors can seriously compromise what the reporter writes.

Without getting into specifics, some of my experiences include first hand knowledge of events that have gone into national newspapers and they often do not match the written version in many aspects.  It seems to me that sensationalising stories to sell hard copy is more of a priority than actually telling it how it is.

It also think the majority of stories lack balance due to this sensationalism.  But then again it's not like this is a new situation, hence the old saying "No news in the truth and no truth in the news".

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