links for 2009-11-27
by Martin Belam, 27 November 2009
Classic 'make the stats fit the ongoing narrative' here. The standfirst on the homepage says: "Immigration continues to rise". Paragraph 4 of this story says "That means that net migration was down over the year". The only way you can get the rise figure is by adding into the numbers people like me, Britons returning to the UK from abroad. So the headline isn't just untrue, that's basically me being treated by my local paper like an immigrant in my own home town.
"Note one more thing about this. As the split between publishing and aggregating gathers force, the focus moves from those whose craft is to make the core product (content), and towards those who can understand their audiences exquisitely and bring them exactly what is right for them, wherever it may come from (think the Drudge Report). By analogy with other industries, this is the classic move from an engineering/product focus towards a marketing/customer focus."
I'd have bet my house that the extra car crash drive-by traffic generated by that Jan Moir homophobia column would have pushed the Mail into #1 spot.
"What we’ve learned, we already knew: journalists need stories to go to press nowish and don’t have much time to put together stories to feed the public their daily news. The BBC found a quote from an expert; it was just a little misunderstood. However, recognising such mistakes certainly makes me wonder what else is reported to us as simple fact that is actually quite badly misguided".