It’s a good question, Peter Overton but it’s one The Bug’s Media Glass House cannot answer.
Someone at Channel 9 in Sydney would know the answer so please tell us and we’ll gladly share it with our readers.
But here’s what Peter Overton’s intro to the 6pm Sydney news on Wednesday March 24 said: “Tonight, our worst flood fears realised; a man’s body found in a submerged car in waters as deep as Sydney Harbour.”
Crikey! That’s unbelievably deep for a swollen creek in Glenorie in Sydney’s north-west.
Reporter Damien Ryan’s extensive report on the flooding across NSW at the beginning of the bulletin did not mention Sydney Harbour but simply said the man’s car was found in water six metres deep.
Across at Channel 7, their 6pm news also reported that the swollen creek was six metres deep. And when you come to think of it, any swollen creek in Australia would impress at six metres, be it at its flood peak or afterwards as it began to recede.
So just how deep is Sydney Harbour? The MGH googled that and the answer popped up: sixty metres!
That’s right: the deepest part of Sydney Harbour – and you can’t get much deeper than that – is ten times as deep as that swollen Glenorie creek.
The harbour’s mean depth is 13 metres and the shipping channel to the west of the Harbour Bridge off Dawes Point is 40 metres deep.
As stated, we have no idea who wrote the intro poor Peter Overton was forced to read out. We doubt it was Ryan as he’s a very experienced and professional journalist.
Maybe some producer in the editing booth hastily threw it together and he or she had been on a harbour ferry before their shift and thought the comparison was rather neat.
We’re not saying this should happen but maybe if that person had some chains wrapped around them and was then dropped overboard between the heads at the most easterly point of the harbour, they would not only be amazed at how long they took to sink to the bottom but they would never make that silly mistake again!
Over in Melbourne also earlier this week, experienced journalist ABC News Breakfast co-host Michael Rowland was having trouble with the M word.
Who knows? He may have tried to say “maaa… maas…. maast…” while rehearsing between segments but somehow couldn’t come (sorry!) around to saying the word “masturbated” on air, which was the perfectly correct word that any skilled journalist should have used to describe what some parliamentary staffer did over a female MP’s office table one night.
All Michael could come (sorry!) out with was “pleasured himself” and to be fair, maybe he thought that was the way to go, what with schoolchildren around Oz in their breakfast nooks and hoeing into their Fruit Loops and Cocoa Pops before heading off to school.
So, no, we won’t be telling Michael to pull himself together and next time prove what a world-weary, pull-no-punches, wizened, wise and to-the-point wordsmith he really is!
We know sub-editors are a dying, if not totally extinct, breed at newspapers across our nation.
So we’re not sure who wrote the heading for this item (pictured) and who gave it the tick of approval before the presses rolled at The Courier-Mail.
We suggest even a year six student fresh from their first civics lesson might know that the pollie in question, the Member for the Brisbane seat of Griffith, Terry Butler, isn’t a senator.