When errors judgment creep in…


By Don Gordon-Brown

It’s no great importance, course, to people not part the trade but journalists should always make sure that every sentence they pen has its full component words so that it sort makes sense.

I’m sorry, it appears I’ve left out “of” a few times in that intro. Let me try it again.

It’s of no great importance, of course, to people not part of the trade but journalists should always make sure that every sentence they pen has its full component of words so that it sort of makes sense.

Ah, that’s better. Which brings me to the Sydney Morning Herald‘s chief political correspondent David Crowe, who was given the privilege of writing Saturday’s splash (the front-page lead story for those who know little our trade. (Bugger, sorry…who know little of our trade).

But, oh dear, did Mr Crowe fuck up big time the night before. The intro to his story was, sadly, missing a very important “of”. And if there’s any paragraph of a story that any credible journalist wants to get right, it’s the intro. Nail that, and you’re well on your way to keeping your readers’ faith in you so that they keep reading. Right, David?crowe's fuckup.PNG

But here’s what David did write, as the second half of the intro to his story about how an Ipsos poll has shown the public favour Morrison to Shorten over border security …. ” the challenge for Labor on a major election issue, amid an escalating political argument over the treatment asylum seekers”.

Yes, a very crucial “of” has fallen off the page. Or should that be f the page?

When did The Bug‘s media team first notice this blunder? Early Saturday morning, while reading the SMH’s website (at right). There was Mr Crowe’s intro for all to see, without the “of”, course. (Sorry again… that should be of course). The site told us Mr Crowe’s story went up (or was last accessed) at 11.45pm Friday night. Well, that’s late. Strong coffee may have been taken. A caffeine hit and tiredness can cause simple and understandable errors judgment. (Sorry….of judgment) Nor do we know who put it up.

But when did this error first occur? Surely it couldn’t have appeared in the print edition as well, many hours before? In such a respected and serious journal? A mistake by a senior journalist paid very, very handsomely to use all the words he knows? It took our research team some time to track down a hardcopy version of Saturday’s SMH but there it was, in glorious black and white. Splashed all over page one. And missing the “‘of”.of blunder.jpg

It was the country edition of the paper, so we reckon given Fairfax’s timelines …. oops, sorry, Nine’s timelines.. that David would have needed to pen the whole that story (bugger! …the whole of that story) well before sunset in Sydney. Probably mid arvo.

There is, course, the possibility that one the paper’s subs took David’s copy and for some bizarre reason, removed the “of”.  (Bugger! ….there is, of course, the possibility that one of the paper’s subs…. but you know what I mean). Besides, do you see what I did just there. Subs at the SMH! I sort like to finish off pisstake articles with a joke. (bugger again…. I mean sort of).

PS: As of 4.18pm on Saturday, the online article had shuffled its way well down the news list but was still missing the “of”. All our readers, were any surprised by that? Sorry, that should have read …of all our readers….