Sunday 3 January 2010

Missing Photos and Missing Stories in SCMP

I agree that the quality of journalism from SCMP has deteriorated. And it’s always informative to observe that others, including Ulaca, keep a watchful eye on this. But I can’t help wonder whether anyone or any “body” really cares. And whether anything can be done about the quality of journalism. Is there a watchdog that can “name and shame”, for instance?

What is apparent is that all these mistakes and bloopers allow bloggers to comment on the sad state of journalism, especially here in Hong Kong. For instance, one SCMP headline on 2 Jan 2010 read:
2010's first birth goes to mainland couple again

So, how many “first births in 2010” were there?

And then there’s the increasingly-frequent “corrections & clarifications” pieces, such as:
Jan 02, 2010
The photograph that appeared yesterday was of bodybuilder Chan Yan-to arriving at Eastern Court to face a bribery charge and not Hong Kong and China Bodybuilding and Fitness Association chairman Chan Siu-man, as stated in the accompanying caption. Chan Siu-man also appeared in the same case, on bribery and fraud charges.

But in fact, there apparently wasn’t a photograph of a person arriving at Eastern Court in the New Year’s Day edition of SCMP. Even more alarming was the fact that there wasn’t even a story about this court case in that edition (it’s definitely not in the online edition). However, there was a story on 29 Dec 2009 headlined: Champion bodybuilder accused of bribing way to Doha, with a photograph of the said bodybuilder. And here’s the “freakish” photo to prove it:

[Hong Kong bodybuilder Chan Yan-to (I think!); pic courtesy SCMP]

Sadly, it seems the public have no choice but to accept that the quality of journalism (be it print, TV, radio or online) will continue to deteriorate for the simple reason that no body or organization with enough clout cares.

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