Sunday, November 28, 2004

Is it just me or do articles like this BBC one on the banning of a Newsweek issue in Pakistan annoy you, too. At first I thought there might be a new yokel on staff, but that would be presumptuous and not really beyond the expertise of some old hands. Compare the lead graph to seventh:
(Lead :) "The latest issue of US news magazine Newsweek has been banned in Pakistan for publishing material that "desecrates the Koran"."
(Seventh:) "The ban may have little effect on sales - the 22 November issue has already been superseded by the 29 November edition."
That this Newsweek issue wasn't the latest might make this not as sensational as BBC suggests with the lead graph. A potentially good reason to suggest it is news would be to explain implications of banning the issue for Pakistanis, but the BBC article doesn't bother to even suggest what those implications are. A couple of those come to mind as questions. For one, could someone be in trouble if they are reported to the authorities for having one on their coffee table? Another is, if the first is possible, then what are the penalties?

This superficial and rather contradictory reporting is not what I expect from an outfit like the BBC. Sadly, it is what they provide. Here they touched a good story but then gave us the same old regurgitation of recent related events as filler routine that leaves me searching the blogosphere for its real meaning. In another vein, a story of this kind pushes me ever closer to a full-fledged rant on regurgitation and other old guard non-internet writing habits that were once a necessary standard (although an annoying one to me) for a daily newspaper.


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