Chasing quality journalism

But we do, Melissa! We do.

That’s the Media Glass House’s honest and frank answer to Channel 9 Brisbane news anchor Melissa Downes’ introduction last night to a piece about a Queensland cop facing a charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle over a 12-minute pursuit captured on the cop’s bodycam and shown in court.

“You won’t believe how it ends,” purred Melissa.

The yarn that followed about a Gold Coast cop on a police-issue dirt bike trying to keep up with two people on a moped scooter showed various stages of that video – and we can honestly declare, Melissa, we totally believed how it ended.

Especially as the cop’s words back to HQ were displayed on the screen: “I don’t know where he went.”

That’s right. He lost them and as the reporter calmly explained: “The two people got away.”

We at the MGH were not only in total belief of the outcome, we were rather relieved to have been spared the sort of reporter commentary that has regularly accompanies such stories for decades: “The police officer called off the chase moments before the moped smashed into a kindergarten playground, killing three kids”.

So, well done, Melissa! Gold-standard hyperbole. Unbelievable, even. We’d love to have been a fly on the wall when you had a quiet chat to the reporter and the producer for that shit lead-in.

***


Earlier in the same bulletin, a follow-up on the story on a “crazed gunman” shot dead by police earlier in the week after he terrorised five workers at a Sunnybank disability support centre included an interview with one of those held hostage.

Both the reporter and the segment’s producer were happy to describe the staff as “escapees” in both word and on screen (right).

Now, luckily, we’re not as litigious as the US … yet … so the MGH suspects Nine News has got away with it but “escapee” does have a rather sinister interpretation at its heart.

We suspect it might have been much wiser for a different word to have been used.