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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Poison Pens Five: HOLD THE FRONT PAGE!!!!

'Journalist asks question at press conference shocker!'

Seriously, I'm not making this up. About four national newspapers have all covered this non-story.

A journalist went to a press conference, plucked up the courage to ask a question, got an answer, then left.

I mean, OMG!!! All those scary old dudes there, asking about, like football and stuff. No wonder plucky Lisa has her hand totally to her chest in shock at what she's done (while posing for a photo, natch.) She, like, TOTALLY asked a question at a press conference?

I know! Like, who knew journalists did that? She should get a medal or something. Probably Fianna Fail are already tapping her up to run in the next general election.

Let's remind ourselves - this chick went to university. She trained as a journalist. Her daddy was a journalist before her. So she's seen her dad do this, she's educated and trained to do it. Why is it so shocking that she went as a journalist to a press conference and asked a question? It's her JOB to do that!

What so-fucking-what yawnathon will the Irish media treat us to next? 'Man rose early and drove electric cart to deliver milk'? 'Sun expected to rise in the East tomorrow morning'? 'Moon disappointingly not made of cream cheese'?

The media rightly get it in the neck sometimes for their sense of whats worthy of reporting and what isn't. People see endless tabloid headlines about Jade Goody, or Jordan, or David Beckham, and despair.

But this article is a spectacular classic of an even more debased genre - journalists puffing themselves and each other.

People do their jobs everyday without expectation of public acknowledgement, and many people do a damn sight more important work than asking Cristiano Ronaldo about his shorts.

Where are their articles?

People who perform surgery, fly airplanes, teach children or cure cancer, take note. Here's what a REALLY difficult job is like:

"It was mortifying from my point of view," said Lisa Cannon, "but at the end of the day that's what I was sent there to do."

Well done for spotting that, love. Yes, you went to a press conference and did your job. Congrats. Do we have to read about it in the paper everytime you do your job properly?

"It was a pretty difficult interview because I couldn't ask him any of the questions I really wanted to but I'm glad I did it," she continued.

Oh, hold on a minute. She didn't ask any of the questions she wanted to? Why not? Isn't asking some questions the sum total of her task? What stopped her? Did someone overpower her and clamp a chloroform cloth over her mouth before she could get the words out?

Perhaps she didn't do her job so well after all, if she couldn't ask questions at a press conference when your job is to do exactly that.

I don't mean to knock the girl - she's probably very nice and might well be generally excellent at her job, which I understand involves talking about clothes and make-up a lot on TV3. And it wasn't her decision to put this tripe into the national press.

My only questions remain for the national press themselves:

Why should the public give a fuck about this?

What is it doing in a newspaper?

How many 'Journalist did their job' stories do you reckon you could print before gangs of brain surgeons, airline pilots, firemen, nurses, teachers and other actually relevant people storm your newsroom and gag the lot of you with chloroform cloths?

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