When a reporter writes that something was done “quietly,” it means he or she missed the story. (“The lazy bums didn’t send out a press release!”) Today’s illustration is in the July 31, 2016, Boston Sunday Globe’s p.1 top story, a real shocker, with the headline “Insiders turn to lobbying careers — After helping politicians win, consultants seek access for corporate clients. ” The story leads with Governor Charlie Baker’s… Read Article →
Monthly Archives: July 2016
Journalese of the Day: Sweden and Norway
Headline of the day goes to Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden’s second largest morning daily, for this modest one over a story of the biannual Environmental Performance Index : “Sverige med i miljötoppen – Norge inte ens nära” And for you who don’t know Swedish: “Sweden among the top in environment — Norway not even close.” -Robert Skole
Journalese of the day: Corrections
File under Corrections of the Day, from always alert pal Joe G: “The New York Times noted today (July 26, 2016) that a review of a movie got the name wrong. ‘The Childhood of the Leader,’ NOT ‘The Childhood of Shadows.’ Then: ‘The review also misstated the given name of a former president of the United States. He was Woodrow Wilson, not Woodward.’ Oh, well, give the reviewer an F… Read Article →
Journalese of the Day: End of an era
Anything big that shuts down, goes broke, is sold or makes a move, means an era ends, even though most people couldn’t care less. The Boston Herald on July 15, 2016, gave the honor to Yahoo, with this headline: “Verizon buys Yahoo for $4.83B, marking an end of an era -Robert Skole
Headline of the Day: “Everyone” instead of “many” would be just as sloppy journalese:
Stop the presses! A Boston Globe top-of-the-fold, print edition headline of July 18, 2016, is an earth shaker for all those readers who have been on Mars the past year. “Convention time arrives with many decrying the choices.” -Robert Skole
Wall Street Journal’s mystery mathematics
I received a “Professional Courtesy Rate” subscription offer from the Wall Street Journal, with the letter’s top lines reading: “Summer Sale — Save Over 65% — 6 months for $99 –You save more than $640.” The “saving” is compared to the “Newsstand price of $964 for 1 year.” I am offered “intro” prices of $99 for 6 months or $197.94 for 1 year. Well, for a newspaper boasting that it… Read Article →
Journalese of the Day: Adjective, adverb inflation in Deflategate latest.
Here’s the lede, inflated with descriptives, in the Boston Globe page one top story July 14, 2016: “Patriots great Tom Brady suffered a resounding defeat in a federal appeals court Wednesday, leaving him with the daunting option of a last-ditch plea to the Supreme Court in his arduous quest to clear his name.” -Robert Skole
Journalese of the Day: Crime reporting cliché rule violated.
Boston Globe reporters have violated the First Rule of Crime Reporting Clichés: All mobsters must have a nickname. In a July 9, 2016, story about the federal court appearance of a Rhode Island man accused of “thwarting” an investigation into a 1993 “slaying”, the man is identified as Robert P. DeLuca, “the onetime New England Mafia capo”. He is given no nick-name. Nor is one given to “reputed mob associate,”… Read Article →
Journalese of the Day: Amazing! Prediction right on the button!
It’s now official: State Police say that 500,000 people lined the Charles River for the annual Boston Pops Orchestra July 4 concert and fireworks. What’s amazing is that organizers on days before estimated that the very same 500,000 would show up. According to a story in the Boston Globe, July 6, 2016, State Police say 350,000 (that’s half the population of Boston) were on the Esplanade on the Boston side of… Read Article →
Journalese of the Day: Oh, you mean that Barack Obama.
Newspapers have stylebooks that reporters and editors sometime follow. The Boston Globe’s stylebook calls for all writers of op-ed pieces be identified. Thus, an op-ed today by Barack Obama, about America’s medical care, has the following ID at the end: “Barack Obama is the president of the United States.” -Robert Skole