Slinging MUD… When words become weapons & the NT News becomes TRASH.

UPDATE: This post has been EDITED more than my suitcase had to be prior to travelling home from Bali.

I apologise if you came here to read my opinion in its entirity, but I guess with the repsonsibility of publishing anything these days, you have to be accountable for what you say. I also wrote earlier very much in the heat of the moment and many of my remarks (I now believe) were a knee-jerk reaction to what I felt was injustice.  

I would therefore like to apologise to the journalist now for calling him vicious names earlier, names I have now removed. He’s possibly lovely and kind in person. But I stand by my comments that his words in the NT news on Tuesday were cruel and unnecessary, and that much of that has to do with ‘filling space’ for a publication hard up for REAL NEWS.

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I’m not perfect, far from it. I have often been the bearer of thoughtless, unkind and hurtful remarks. I’m not happy about that. But age is funny. It does more than make you wrinkley and saggy. It also means you start to grow freakishly long random eyebrows….  AND more importantly, it allows you to see the world through less judgemental eyes.

Yes. grey hair is the price I pay for perpsective and hindsight. Marvellous.

Why? Because when we’re 16 we think we’re perfect. By the time you’re 36 like I am, you realise ‘that could so easily have been me,” or “that happened to me,” or “I know how they feel.”

It’s called experience – wisdom – understanding , and it’s why our mums and dads were SPOT ON when they told us WE KNOW BEST. In most cases they did.

 

So I still happily maintain my imperfection.  I KNOW there are times when I could be nicer. When I should close my mouth and tune out of a nasty conversation. There’s also times when I should keep my (sometimes self righteous) opinion to myself.  

Yes, I can be nasty, bitchy, and unkind. I can be mean. I can be your worst enemy. BUT most of the time I’m nice, and try to be less judgemental. Most of the time when I realise I’ve upset someone, I’m devastated. MOST of the time.

In case you were wondering… no I’m not off to confession. I’m not on some deep personal self journey of emotional discovery either.

But I have said things (and published things) I regret. Like – the fact that I went to a hair salon in Darwin that starts with a K and my hair was ruined for a year. Apparently those words caused $50,000 worth of damage.

So when is it ok to share an opinion that could be hurtful or damaging?

With a friend over coffee? On facebook? While accepting an academy award?  What about in the instance where you have a space to fill in a newspaper and might as well fill it with hurtful lies? That’s not new…  Gossip mags have been doing that for years.  So it’s not surprising that something so cliché and cheap might be the common practise of my local paper.

Yesterday, a journalist from the NT News’s and clearly a correspondent for all things RIDICULOUS, published some hurtful, cynical and unnecessary comments. My guess? He got his journalism qualifications from a ‘cut-out’ on the back of a box of cornflakes.

The NT News decided a while back to do something truly original and start publishing a weekly CONFIDENTIAL section. They have the same section in most other newspapers around Australia. They serve to keep us up to date on home-town celebrity gossip. Of course when you live in Sydney or Melbourne or Brisbane… there are actually valid celebrities to write gossipy things about.

Here is an excerpt from Sydney Confidential today:

MICHAEL Clarke and Lara Bingle have reached settlement following their break-up in March.

A statement released by Bingle’s lawyers last night stated the couple had resolved their “property arrangements” amicably and remain good friends.

Despite a report here earlier in the week, Confidential understands the model agreed to a conservative settlement in the end, although there were no details forthcoming last night.

Clarke’s camp confirmed the matter had been dealt with privately.

Notice there was no name calling, no judgement, no accusations.

Here is NT Confidential from yesterday:

Ed makes a very public proposal

THE Territory’s latest glossy fish-and-chip wrapper has taken less than a year to descend into full-blown self-promotion.

In a move that has caused many to cringe, Darwin Life editor Leasel Avila proposed to her boyfriend Matt Cielens – who writes the editorial for the pair’s latest venture, Darwin Home – with a full-page photograph of herself.

Traditional social-sorts were shocked to see Avila making the proposal rather than Matt.  ConfideNTial can reveal that he said yes.

MEANWHILE, Cielens has made a splash in the second edition of his mag.

While rambling on about “imitation being the highest form of flattery”, he wrote: “Maybe we will do the same some day and put a croc on the front cover.”

Given that most of the stories in his magazine are built around selling the wares of advertisers, ConfideNTial wonders who will foot the bill for that cover.

 

If you would like to see what I’m referring to click here and refer to page 6.

Now watch out: I’m ready to sling mud.

 In one small gossip item, he’s managed to do the following:

  • Insult an independent publication by calling it ‘fish and chip wrapping.’ This journo forgets he works for a paper, one that is discarded DAILY, one that is full of FANCIFUL FABLES, one that has LITTLE CREDIBILITY and one that has no pretty glossy pages…. I wonder who’s stories end up wrapping greasy food? Glossy full colour monthly mag? Or trashy 20 page waste of paper that is NT News?

 

  • Accused Darwin Life editor Leasel Avila – a young woman with guts and fortitude who took her destiny into her own hands and proposed to her boyfriend, as being a ‘self promoter.’ Yes, of course she totally proposed for publicity. Totally. Not love. Not because she wants to share her life and be married to a great guy. Just to get more readers.  If the journo understood women at all, he’d know we women don’t muck around when it comes to proposals and weddings. We simply want it to be memorable and special, and I think Leasel achieved that. I admit to being shocked by it, but on reflection I think what she did was brave. I think good on her. I think the journo is a little out of touch with human emotion…. perhaps a result of spending hours couped up in a tiny little cubicle with no windows, and nothing to look at but the old front page clippings blue-tac’d up, about Yowies and UFO’s and Aliens. The makings of a sad person, making a living out of pulling others down.

 

  •  Assumed the thoughts and actions of others, by stating that this proposal made many people ‘cringe.’ Did it? Like who?   Traditional types, he says, were shocked. Yep, they probably were. And that’s news or gossip how?

 

  • Accused an editor of a competing publication (Matt Cielens) of ‘rambling.’ Because this journo in question NEVER rambles. He’s not threatened at all by the fact that there’s a competing HOME magazine on the market?

 

  • Accused a competing magazine for being built around advertisers and having no real substance.  Ummm, this is a message for the journalist and all his mates at the NT News.  YOU DO THE SAME THING. You are totally dependent on advertisers. As most publications are. Don’t tell me that the sale price of $1.20 for the paper pays your salary. Advertisers pay your salary, and you know that. In much more subtle ways, your paper does the same. As do ALL papers. Your publication is often laughable, and so are the prices you charge for advertising.  Perhaps that’s it! You’ve lost advertisers to a publication that doesn’t charge champagne prices for light beer quality.  Darwin Life and HOME magazine (while still in its infancy) are a lot more customer savvy than you lot. I know where I’d rather spend my marketing dollars.  

I also think most people buy the silly paper to see what irony or stupidity they can laugh at for the day.

I think I’m feeling much better, although there’s every chance this post will get me in to severely hot water.

DISCLAIMER: The above words are a personal opinion only. They have been published for cathartic purposes, and to fulfil a personal need for vengeance. They are not fact, but just one hot headed girl’s view of a sad piece of journalism. This post should be treated with as much seriousness as the report from the NT News some time back, on the kangaroo who was horny and on the prowl.

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