Tuesday, 18 May 2010

The Following is Not News


This article in The Sun is in my book not national news. Here's why:

In short, a group in Cornwall is wanting to ban the England flag in Cornwall, and use their own. Now, if there's considerable backing for this it'd be national news-worthy, a potential social and political uprising akin to the minaret ban in Switzerland potentially. The Facebook Group (Facebook Groups themselves are about as credible as Train Timetable) has a measly 55 followers at the time The Sun wrote the article. The following have more followers than this group:

iDaft: A group dedicated to a Sound Board app, which lets you play along to Daft Punk instrumentals. With 20,000 followers, it must be stellar news content

Prawn Cocktail Pringles: With the same amount of followers, it's suprising that they didn't use this as a source

The Jimmy Duerden Fan-Club: A fan club for my cousin. I'm not kidding, this has twice as many followers

This is grasping for straws at best. In many ways the mention of the Facebook group detriments it. I probably wouldn't care if they'd just said people in Cornwall don't want England Flags and not mentioned a single number. But web services like Facebook Groups are slowly becoming cheap alternatives to researching. Can't be arsed to go to Cornwall and talk to people? Take the Internets word for it! It's clearly a direct representation of the people and their opinions!

A certain theory helps to prove the point i'm trying to make here:

John Gabriel's Internet Fuckwad Theory

Stuff like this makes me genuinely want to join the News industry so I can slap them on the back of the head. I get the image of someone thinking 55 followers is a lot of people, as they frantically try to figure out why the unplugged printer isn't working. While shitting on the keyboard. I also get that it's related to the upcoming World Cup, but i'm sure there's better stories than this for a NATIONAL paper. Even the local village paper would think twice about this one, guys.

I'm sure many would refute me, but it seems a lot of journalists need to take a crash course in Interweb 101. For the amount of time people spend on Facebook these days, they should know what the difference between a small group of local luddites and a hoarde of followers is.

On a final note, the "interviewed" include a local innkeeper and a gift shop owner.
Sonia Peters, of Shirley Cottage Gifts in Newquay, said: "They're making a big fuss about nothing. If people want to buy an England flag for the World Cup they should be able to."

Exactly, a big fuss over nowt. Do you think she means the Facebook group or the journalist mourning his career? Let's see what the Innkeeper has to say:
Christina Smith, of St Austell's Britannia Inn, added: "Cornwall is part of England. It's not a separate country."

Thank you, thank you for that lyrical harmony of words. They should of sent a poet.

I can't be the only one who feels a tad peeved over this entire story. A people piece with the one pathetic connection being "s'football soon". I really do hope nothing worse appears when the Cup Final is actually happening.

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