Greg serves up a double fault

Look, it’s a simple enough mistake to make … and any young sports reporter can easily make it.

But the Media Glass House is not so forgiving when it comes to such a seasoned, veteran and professional journalist as the ABC’s US-based reporter Greg Jennett.

Here’s what Jennett said on ABC 7pm news last night about Dylan Alcott’s wonderful achievement of taking out the grand slam of tennis in a calendar year.

“The grand slam feeling is hardly new to him; he already had 14 of them.”

Up until yesterday, Dylan had not won a single grand slam, so here’s a little refresher course for Jennett.

The four major tennis tournaments each year, COVID-19 permitting, are the Australian Open in January, the French Open from late May to early June, Wimbledon in late June to early July, and the US Open in August–September. Calling them the majors is a clever way of avoiding the problem we’re discussing here.

It is true they are also called the grand-slam tournaments and why? Because if a player wins all four majors in the one year – something Novak Djokovic was attempting at Flushing Meadow yesterday – they have achieved the grand slam. Our very own Rod “Rocket” Laver was the last male player to achieve it, way back in 1969.

All good? Say Daniil Medvedev goes on to win the Australian Open next January, it would be terribly wrong of him to shout at the presentation: I can’t believe I’ve won the grand slam!” before sinking to his knees and bursting into tears.

And we really hope Jennett doesn’t react to this by saying we’re being picky.

Using words correctly is an important part of developing a journo’s reputation for accuracy and professionalism, be they a cadet or, indeed, a seasoned professional.

***

So, who’s right? ABC’s 7.30 last night said Clive Palmer and his United Australia Party spent around $60 million on the 2019 federal election campaign.

The Bug has always thought the figure was around $90 million. Indeed, the Australian Electoral Commission last year declared in its annual returns that the UAP received a whopping $83.3 million from Palmer’s mining company Mineralogy Pty Ltd. Palmer also owed close to $9 million to Google and a Brisbane printery.

It is true that maybe the UAP didn’t end up spending all that money back in 2019. But $30 million is a lot of money so maybe The Bug and 7.30 are both wrong?


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