New Bird for Australia

To: "Chris Sanderson" <>, "Alan McBride" <>, "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: New Bird for Australia
From: "Bill Stent" <>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2010 14:42:30 +1100
I, too, work for an organisation that spends a lot of effort feeding facts and stories to the media. We've even had to do media wrangling training here (the big learning for the company was that they must never, ever, put me in front of a camera).

I think there's an amount of tolerance required for journalists. You do have to spend a lot of time making sure they have the pertinent facts that support the story, but apart from these, the rest is "nice to haves". The person who trained me kept talking about "A points" and "B points". The A points you can't let the journalist off the phone until he's recited these back to you clearly, from his own notes, as these are critical to the story. The B points are simply illustrations, and if there's going to be any errors (and there will be) these are the ones you can sacrifice.

The A point here is that birds are nesting in great numbers. The exact species of bird was clearly a B point, so the precise ID isn't crucial.


From: "Chris Sanderson" <>
Sent: Monday, November 08, 2010 2:34 PM
To: "Alan McBride" <>; "Birding Aus" <>
Subject: New Bird for Australia

Hi all,

I'm sure many of us have had our own experiences with the media getting
things wrong, but I guess I'd like to chip in a small defense of
journalists, who are often asked to cover stories about issues they know
nothing about and expected to be instant experts.  It is also important to
note that what a journo sends to their editor often only ends up bearing a
passing resemblance to what is actually printed, so many of the mistakes
that creep into articles may actually occur in post-production through the
hands of someone who didn't even create the source material.

Having said that there are few things more frustrating than being misquoted
or having a small but important fact or detail mangled in an article when
some basic fact-checking by the author could have prevented the error.


On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 1:20 PM, Jill Dening <> wrote:


I've been interviewed on many occasions by the local Sunshine Coast media
about local shorebird matters, and on every occasion but one they have got vital things wrong. And I always take the trouble to explain the difficult
details. I'd say on that basis that there'd have to be something out of
kilter with a very large number of stories in the general media. I
especially wonder about this when I am reading the business news, because it
takes a bit of time and intellect to get your head around economic and
business news.

I used to wonder if my colleagues reading the stories quoting me thought I really said what is reported. Now I couldn't give a toss: nothing to be done
about it.

Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S    152° 56' 00"E

On 8/11/2010 12:27 PM, Alan McBride wrote:

Absolutely agree Keith. Knowing how they cock this sector up makes you
wonder about the rest of the "news"!

On 08/11/2010, at 13:25 , Keith Brandwood wrote:

They are mostly stupid in my opinion Alan, but by far it is that they are
ignorant of the facts and can not make the effort to find out. Obviously
they don't realize that there are a whole population of birdwatchers out
there reading their stories and thinking "what idiots" otherwise they would
get it right.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU