SMH headings in the wrong direction

The Bug‘s Media Glass House has mentioned before, rather sadly, that a single Saturday edition of The Sydney Morning Herald (or its sister Sunday) can often have enough mistakes in it to fill one of these columns.

Well, if not mistakes, rabid right-wing columnists blowing hard or, since Parnell Palme McGuinness joined the crew, columns that are close enough to unfathomable, especially to city folk who need to woke up to themselves.

Last weekend’s SMH was no exception and there were enough chuckles over headings alone to fill a column; this one as it turns out.

Headings with a word missing; headings that tried to be so clever they were stupid, and headings that were just plain wrong. And in one edition of a paper, that’s an amazing effort when you think about it.

So for the first one, at top.

Can the sub-editor at the SMH live with the fact that they left out the word “live” in this cross-gutter heading? These things can be tricky, you know.

You’re probably the only sub Nine Entertainment Co can afford on the main SMH book and you’re under extreme pressure with dozens of stories to process in so few hours.

And then we move on to heading a bit further into the news pages that, deadset, would appear in Mad As Hell if it was in The Daily Telegraph.

See how Lycra and like can be so easily interchanged? Just a bit of fun, really.

The whole thing is awful enough without capping the Lycra.

And now for another heading a few pages on that’s also missing something …. and it’s called accuracy.

Quite frankly, The Bug‘s MGH wouldn’t normally give the time of day to Pastor Brian Houston of Hillsong Church, whether or not the Pentecostal is a pedophile protector.

Anyone who’s making millions convincing gullible fuckwits that not only can God can talk through his tongue but his weekly merchandising is worth buying deserves to be in jail so why should we worry if he’s being unfairly treated in a newspaper heading.

But the reality is that the good pastor has been charged with ONE count of concealing the abuse of a child by his late kiddy-fiddling father Frank. One charge, not charges.

The second paragraph makes it clear Houston will return to Australia – he somehow miraculously flew out to Mexico a wee while ago – to attend court in October to fight the charge. Charge, singular.

Later on, even the church’s Australian board talks about charges. But that’s in a direct quote and if the church wants to make Houston’s woes at least double what they are, that’s their business. With Christian friends like that, who needs enemies?

Further down the first leg of the yarn, our two fearless reporters talk once more about the charge.

So there we have it. Charges. Charge. Charges (admittedly in a church quote). Charge.

Accuracy is so important, don’t you think, if journalism is ever going to shake off a certain reputation for sloppiness and inaccuracy?

And the heading – and the sub who wrote it – are the main problems here. Not getting the basic facts right is never a good look.