Simon over at Tuppenceworth is getting a bee in his bonnet about the standard of Irish journalism. I have to agree. I am a Director of publicity for an international association for Information Quality professionals. Over the past year I have submitted a number of commentaries on issues such as the Electoral Register.
Not ONCE has there been a journalist who has contacted me back on any topic, not even to say thanks but no thanks. It seems to be easier to trot out the easy soundbite than to actually research a topic (such as the Electoral Register issue – despite what Dick Roche says it is still an unmitigated disaster area and will NOT be clean come election because the fundamental root causes have not been addressed) and be in a position to ask hard questions.

For example – with Electronic voting, journalists have swallowed the line that the e-voting systems have been fully tested because that was the response to a Parlimentary Question (dail reportage). Of course, the question was badly put… if didn’t ask how many machines actually passed the tests… (answer is approximately none of them).

Furthermore, no newspaper I’ve seen in the last month has picked up on the link between the State Claims Agency report on Injuries arising from Treatment errors in the Irish Healthcare system and the number of articles that appeared in Oct and Nov of this year about people who’d had horrendous harm inflicted on them by unnecessary surgery because their patient information had been mixed up with someone elses… I’ve got an article on that drafted that links to the situation in the US… any takers?

I look forward to a day when I can pick up a respected newspaper and not be accosted by obvious press-release fodder, commercial features or limp-wristed reporting. Hopefully some journalist will pick up on the story at Tuppenceworth and run with it…

…now wouldn’t that be ironic?

Update….. Indo picked up on the Tuppenceworth story but not in the way you’d like. Apparently if you don’t like the message and can’t directly attack the messenger you should attack the credibility of the medium the message travels in. Which is ironic given that it is the credibility of print journalism that the Tuppenceworth Paper Round calls into such stark question.