09 March 2008

Media Diet week 10

Running a bit late this week...

Press: so my piece finally appeared in a Sunday red-top. They used the most unflattering shot for my byline pic, in a bid to make me look miserable (to match the subject matter) and not only rewrote vast chunks of my copy but even changed some facts and invented things I felt or thought. What actually appeared was wildly inaccurate both factually and also in terms of my feelings. Lesson learned. I won't be selling my soul to the tabloids again - the money is good but I feel soiled.

Blogs: a while back I discovered Benefit Scrounging Scum and what a fine blog it is. If you want to know about the day-to-day reality of living with a disability, look no further. It makes having the occasional epileptic seizure look like a day in the park.

TV/radio: Torchwood was rubbish last week. It made no sense, I felt no desire to know what happened next and I was bored. I had a mini splurge on DVDs yesterday as the TV is so poor at the moment - I watched Control this afternoon. Fantastic. Only one gripe - of all the seizures portrayed, only the last was vaguely realistic. The one of him having a fit on stage showed him having a lucid conversation about 3 minutes after he was carried off stage. Tut. It just doesn't work like that.

Books: needless to say, I raced through Anything Goes. Fabulous, dahling. Laughed out loud every other page and finished it in just under 2 days. Which these days is very fast for me. I'm about 90 pages in to Water Like a Stone and getting twitchy. It took 70 pages before anything of note happened. Far too much faffing around scene-setting, far too many unjoined-up-yet characters and not enough bodies... Val McDermid is far better.

2 comments:

having my cake said...

This was really interesting. As a member of Joe Public, I always believe that the person whose name is on the byline is responsible for the content. I knew that a certain amount of editing in terms of length might be involved but certainly didnt realise that newspapers could change basic facts within the article willy nilly and still publish it as being the opinion of the named author. Hmmm... we all become a little wiser every day and suddenly some of the strange rants in the Daily Mail are not so inexplicable.

wordsmith_for_hire said...

The person whose name is on the byline is usually responsible for the content. I say usually because there are occasions when that may not be the case. For example, news may written by the bylined journalist but other facts added in by a junior staffer who is uncredited.

Publications are not supposed to change facts or viewpoints without checking the author approves. I kicked up a right royal over this one because someone on the subs' desk (where the editing is done - and editing should consist, in such a case, of checking for length, typos and legal clearance) decided to alter my personal experience without consultation. The paper has apologised, will amend the online edition and has agreed that they should have run it past me before publication.

* It wasn't the Mail, btw. It's fair to say that the Mail's rants ARE the product of their journalists...