Did I mention I hate mondays?

Wow, things didn’t go well at the ol’ government gig this morning. Let’s just say my frantic MediaScout writing was interrupted by a return trip to the office. Oh yea, I’m doing the Scout today too, so this will be a quickie.

In the “things that warrant coverage” file. . .
Only the Gazette picked this story up from the New York Times. Given Canada’s commitment to the U.S.-led spread of democracy, shouldn’t it have received bigger play?

Stupid story, serious point
I read this and thought, man, what a brutally sensationalized story. Seven other papers, including the Citizen ran the story, each in a ridiculously sensational manner. That’s an obvious problem, but not what makes it Megalomedia worthy.

No, what gets me is that it was a CP Wire story. And it was updated later, as several other papers (notably the Toronto Star) reported.

Clearly a few editors went looking for something light and stupid to fill a hole in their paper and picked this one off, then forgot about it and went to press. In this instance, it’s not a big deal. Only Guelph residents were ever threatened by this FLESH EATING LIZARD, and the CP wire copy was taken right from the Guelph paper. They were kept informed. But it’s indicative of the over-reliance on wire copy and the lack of attention to updated stories. Anyone who took part in my trial run of the Actionline remembers what happened when the Post didn’t do their legwork.

It’s a stupid story. But it’s also shoddy and irresponsible journalism. And that’s not cool.

yargh, I’ll do better tomorrow folks, I promise. For now, check out the Scout for more media analysis fun.


  1. Okay Joe… I don’t get this one. The stories are virtually the same. It’s an irrelevant story, sure, but it’s interesting. Sensationalistic? Maybe – but it is a giant, flesh-eating lizard, to be fair.

    Newspapers have a responsibility to report what’s really important, but that’s not to say they can’t run light pieces, too. If it comes off the wire, so what?

  2. That headline is not only sensational, it’s kind of redundant. Apart from iguanas, virtually all giant lizards are flesh-eating. That doesn’t mean that, once loose, they’ll eat people. Stray kittens, perhaps. . .

  3. Bastards!

    See, what happened was the Post story I linked was changed from the original print edition story.

    The first link was to a story about the lizard being on the loose. That was the whole point. It wasn’t updated in the print edition.

    I guess they did their job in the end, and in the process, made a fool of me.


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