Friday, February 22, 2008

Don't Mention The War: Cameron in Auschwitz Row

Ladies and gentlemen....the award for irresponsible journalism goes to Andrew Porter for his partial piece: David Cameron under fire over Auschwitz gaffe

Andrew Porter, here's a recap class on how to write a news story just in case you weren't there.

News Stories For Yes Men - Lesson 1 *

Now Andrew, TTG feels your piece reads like Government copy off the press. Your angle attacking the Conservative leader would be fine if you had given him a chance to speak. His only comment is a quote from a speech in reference to 26, as you correctly suggest, Gov. initiatives, not just this one.

So first off, you must use the The Five "W" - who, what, where, when, why and how.

Other points to consider when writing a potentially incriminating piece:

Keep it Objective: You must be completely impartial. If there is more than one side to the story, cover them all.

Blatant bias:

"Other gimmicks in the Conservative list included protecting public spaces against terrorists attacks, deep-cleaning of hospitals and screening tests for cervical cancer. " - This is very harmful and defamatory to the Party as the Conservatives are not against any of these issues, quite the opposite. David Cameron was merely talking about the effectiveness of these schemes.

"It comes as a poll appeared to show that Mr Cameron’s aggressive attacks on the Government’s handling of the Northern Rock nationalisation had backfired...only a fifth of voters said the opposition would have handled the crisis better than the Government. " Are you working in the Gov. Press Office per chance?

Quote People:

"His intervention was described as "sick and ignorant" by the Government." - of course that would be the Government response but who said this in the Government? Surely Ed Balls does not constitute the Government. Please correct and specify your source.

There are five other interviews in your piece and all are against Cameron. This is heavily weighted anti-Cameron and when writing news pieces, rather than Government or PR articles, you must avoid this.

Grammar mistakes:

  1. as"short-term gimmicks". - There should be a space in between as and ".
  2. Other"gimmicks" - Again another space needed.
  3. "Included was a £4.6m scheme announced by ministers this month to tie in with Holocaust Memorial Day the Government’s to send sixth-form pupils from every school in England to visit the concentration camp at Auschwitz." This sentence is quite clumsy and the average reader would find it confusing.
  4. Mr Cameron’s"truly disgraceful remark". - Please space out

Hopefully Andrew, this refresher lesson has taught you a thing or to about how to present the news fairly, particularly as your job as political editor requires that you keep on good terms with all parties.

Let's just hope for your sake that Cameron isn't the next PM because guess who won't be on the Telegraph payroll anymore. T'oh.

Lovingly terrible,

Terrible Tory Girl

That speech in full

*Thanks to for info

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