Reporting with a laser-like focus!

The Media Glasshouse from time to time has begged TV news reporters to have a final readthrough of their notes before their on-camera presentations. Well, we hope they scribble down what they plan to say.

That suggestion is based on the hope, of course, that the journo has enough wits if not training and experience about them to spot silly mistakes or avoid saying things that defy commonsense let alone the basic rules of logic.

In recent times, we’ve marvelled at the 9 News Sydney reporter who claimed a driver drowned in a flooded creek “as deep as Sydney Harbour” and another who described as “fully camouflaged” a clearly visible sub that surfaced in that very same harbour.

Today we welcome to the fold their Channel 9 Sydney colleague Jonathan Kearsley who reported breathlessly last night on a laser beam with the potential to blast space junk circling earth, thus protecting billions of dollars of satellites, the lives of those on the international space station, etc, etc.

“It’s destination space for this laser fired from an observatory overlooking Canberra,” he said. “The ray of light goes where no man has gone before – the ends of the universe.”

While The Bug’s MGH has no intention of taking the mickey out of Jonathan, we’ll pass on to him something we heard once.

Jonathan….

We’re thirty thousand light years from galactic central point
We go ‘round every two hundred million years
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, the speed of light, you know
Twelve million miles a minute and that’s the fastest speed there is.

That’s our way of saying we doubt any laser beam fired from that observatory is going to get anywhere near the ends of the universe.

We have another big problem with his report: “Aimed at billions of stars, the laser pinpoints a piece of space junk” that another, more powerful laser then deflects out of orbit.

Logic tells us it wasn’t really aimed at billions of stars, was it, Jonathan?

And when you spout crap like this, you run the real risk that viewers might start to doubt the veracity of other aspects of the report and that would be a crying shame.

***

Picky, picky, maybe, but the MGH does like journos to get the basics rights.

In her opening words on the ABC’s News Breakfast program this morning, Lisa Millar referred to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “late night” media conference.

Millar and her co-host Iskhandar Razak used “late night” four times in the first 11 minutes of the program.

The Bug‘s MGH simply disagrees that a media call that began at about 7.20pm is late night.