That’s a very good question because, sadly, modern journalism is awash with scribes who have no or little idea of the silly old concept under Australian law of being innocent until proven guilty.
Watch any night-time TV news program and it won’t take long for some lovely looking, female, tyro field reporter (are there multiple tautologies there?) to announce breathlessly that “the three men involved in the hotel ram-raid escaped on foot but police later arrested two of them and they’ll appear in court….”
Oh, how easy it would be to reword that so there’d still be a need to make those guys front a beak who might actually make a decision on whether they done it or not.
And with that preamble, we at the MGH enjoyed this little spiel from ABC Brisbane 7pm newsreader Matt Wordsworth earlier in the week on the home invasion on Monday that left former Wallaby Toutai Kefu, his wife and family badly injured.
Take it away, Matt: “And a second teenager has been charged over his role in a home invasion on Brisbane’s southside…”
Aah, what a gem. HIS ROLE!
He was there; he done it! Go immediately to jail; do not pass a magistrate’s court or a district court on your way.
Another report around the same time used the old “two of the four people who invaded the home have been arrested” line. Go immediately to jail, you two bastards!!!
It’s amazing how these tyros can throw allegedly and alleged around like confetti at a wedding to make themselves look entirely professional and then not use them when they really are needed.
So can the MGH make a heartfelt plea to all those tyros out there: please give people arrested the benefit of the doubt.
Finding them guilty up front won’t come back to bite you on your beautiful young arses because they will be … but once in a blue moon it might.
And it can even happen to the very best of journos. Just ask Louise Milligan who made the costly assumption that Andrew Laming did certain things the way other people said he did.
The old washed-up hacks behind the MGH just know that their much loved former colleague, Justice David A. Anderson who wrote the excellent Pitfalls in the Law for Journalists would be rolling in his grave now over such shitty reporting and uncharacteristic assumptions but luckily for us and David, he’s still alive.
And hopefully right now, for Ms Milligan’s sake and those who follow her, he’ll be writing Pitfalls in the Law for Journalists who Make Assumptions About How Revolting Andrew Laming Really is And Taking Pictures of a Worker in Shorts Stacking Shelves Might Not Be Upskirting But It Still Has a Certain Creepiness About it.
For fuck’s sake, people! It’s not rocket surgery!
Right on queue, the MGH has spotted this InQueensland story this morning that perfectly sums up much of what we’ve said above.
The caption under Kefu’s photo says: Toutai Kefu has been seriously injured and three other members of his family received knife wounds during an alleged break-in at his Coorparoo home on Monday.
Alleged, for fuck’s sake! Did the Kefus cut themselves up for a publicity stunt?
And in the story itself, this absolute gem of a par, shown below.
There’s nobody who’s been following this story that doesn’t know four teenage boys invaded Kefu’s Coorparoo home.
So, really, IN QUEENSLAND? THE four teenage boys.
We’re pretty sure you’re not talking about THE four teenage boys who spent time down at Shorncliffe jetty fishing for winter whiting the other day.
It really would have taken no time at all to delete the “The”.
Someone at ABC News Online didn’t pass either French, geography, history, or social studies (or whatever that’s called these days, if indeed they teach it.)
The national broadcaster’s online news website yesterday carried a story (pictured) about plans to wrap the famous Arc de Triomphe in the heart of Paris as a tribute to the late Bulgarian artist Christo who died last year.
Christo and his wife and fellow artist Jeanne-Claude who died in 2009 made a name for themselves by wrapping up bridges, cliffs, buildings, and other big things.
Now, to memorialise their work, plans are afoot to wrap the Parisian landmark for a couple of months.
The project will see the Arc de Triomphe – formally known as the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile or arch of triumph of the star – on the Champs-Elysees. The arch is named for the 12 streets that radiate in a star pattern around it.
But the original version of the ABC story showed another arc de triomphe – the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel outside the Louvre art gallery.
Ooops! Or oups! as the French might say. Luckily by this morning the picture had been changed. (pictured)