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VIC Bad journalism

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' at netrider.net.au started by TonyE, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. This is not a "rider down" piece - it's about the bad and prejudiced attitudes of second-rate journalists...


    A woman, 20, who was with her father in(sic) his Harley-Davidson is fighting for her life after crashing in Lygon St, Brunswick, on Saturday night.



    The pair were thrown into a pole after their bike clipped a taxi about 10.15pm


    Sounds as if it was the rider's fault - doesn't it...

    Eyewitness report from the MRA Board member who witnessed it!

    Coming down Lygon Street on the corner of Glenlyon Street at around 10:20pm, two of our party on a Harley Davidson right in front of me were travelling south at around 40-50Km/h in the left lane when a Taxi driver (without indicating or looking) suddenly went from the right lane to the left lane before the intersection to either avoid a right turning vehicle or make a left turn.

    He broadsided the bike and continued to push with the rider fighting it all the way, his peg scraping along the bitumen until the bike, rider and pillion struck a power pole on the corner. The Taxi accelerated through the intersection as the rider and pillion were crunched and the spinning bike flung across behind him.
     
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  2. Did the taxi driver flee the scene or stop?
     
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  3. He eventually pulled over some distance down the road - I haven't heard the details from Grant yet. I suspect there may have been a passenger who made him pull over.

    My post is pointing out the difference between the reporting and the reality. Here's a young woman fighting for her life in intensive care (it was her first ride behind her father) after being forced off the road by an idiot - and here's the newspaper using phrases that imply that it was her father's fault.

    I'll be very interested to see what the police media release on the subject says - it's not on their web site yet, unfortunately, but knowing the laziness of most journos, it's probably been written directly from the police media release.
     
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  4. Which paper was this in Tony? A letter to the editor may be called for here.
     
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  6. I have to say that despite this it's nice to not have the standard "Speed was a factor" tagged onto it.

    Tony you should add your comments to the online section as well mate.
     
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  7. I did that as well

    Whether they get published is another matter. :?

    I'm particularly interested in knowing what the police media release said. If, as I suspect, that's where the comment came from then I think we have some real grounds for a formal complaint.

    I've complained before that the police media releases always imply it's the riders fault - it's always "the motorcycle collided with a car/truck/bus etc" never "the motorcycle was struck by a car doing a u-turn".
     
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  8. Yeah you're right Tony, there is a BIG difference to 'clipping a taxi' and being rammed by one, and there's also a BIG difference to hitting a taxi and being hit by one.

    If the journo's confused I'd be happy to demonstrate. (edit: hehehe, if the cops are confused I'd be happy to......)
     
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  9. Sadly, we can only expect media outlets (and the police hierarchy for that matter) to take every chance to tell everyone how unacceptably dangerous motorcycles are. Of course, they will feel no need to make comment about dangerously underskilled taxi drivers, or reckless driving habits, because that's just normal, isn't it?

    If it had been a cyclist that had been wiped out they would be lynching the driver. But because it's a motorcycle it was the rider's fault just for being out their. Some lives are better than others. :evil:
     
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  10. Grant's comment:

    Don’t remember the Taxi having a fare, he accelerated through the intersection after pushing the bike so I’d say he was not going to stop originally.
     
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  11. Had a similar situation a number of years ago that involved my late father and due to reporting it did cause him some distress (this was during the one of many 'trucks are the big baddies' period in NSW).

    Situation:
    Near Kurri smelter in the hunter valley.
    Dad returning from Hungerford Hill winery (100kmh zone) crests a hill where the speed limit changes to 80kmh. As he descends the hill (only really an incline with farm house left) and old X series Falcon approaches and swerves to dad's side of the road, passing under the truck and igniting both the car and truck. Dad collects logbook and exits truck warning local farm resident to keep away as not only did dad have wine on board, but 10 tonnes of paint thinners.

    All marking and gouges are on dad's side of the road. Police praise him for the fact that he kept the vehicle upright despite having lost his front left steer tyre, both axles on the bogey of the prime mover and blown tryes on the trailer (truck was just parked off the road).


    Media Headlines screamed '1 dead as truck collides with car' and were broadcast in print media nationally due to the fireball that took near 5 hours to get under control (a mate of dad's in Adelaide read it). Initial Film media (Sydney based) used similar graphic news lines although at that stage no film media had attended the scene (dad was in hospital, we initially went to hospital but were asked by dad who was ok to return for the salvage of the truck). The whole time there were no media or reporters present. It must be said however that once local film media attended the entire focus did change and the coverage was incredibly fair, caring and genuine to both dad and the family of the car driver.


    On reading the papers the next day and finding the headlines screaming as they were (Daily Telegraph) I ran the editor to espress my displeausre at what I saw as sensationalist bias headlines. Initially he was quite aggressive talking about how the journalist who attended had asked police etc and that the facts were correct in that dad had indeed collided with a car (tru factually). When I then pleasantly said to him that if I punched him in the face is it true that his face headbutted or collided with my fist he started to see my logic and understood but he stood by the claim that a journalist had been present. So I asked when and simply told him that I was at the scene and no journalist was present, as well as provided him with the name of the investigating officer, witnesses etc he completely changed his tune promising he would investigate and call back.

    Surprise, surprise I had a phone call back within 15 minutes and dad had an apology printed (and later received a letter of apology) for the incorrect inference of the report.


    So I suppose the message we received is do as you have, complain and raise the bias inference of the report and where possible provide facts or contacts where they can verify their facts. Ask for an apology based on teh distress caused by the improper inference and see what happens.

    Good luck with it and also to the injured.


    As a question, the comment regarding the passenger possibly making the driver pull over, is that verifiable in any way?







    Garry
     
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  12. See my previous post re passenger. Grant didn't see one but believes that the driver initially wasn't going to stop but changed his mind.
     
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  13. We get upset about these things, but I believe it is not intentional. It's like any standard journalistic cliche. I think if asked about a particular incident (i.e. bringing it to people conscious thought) then most people would not necessarily attribute blame to the rider.

    What it does on a sub-conscious level is much more insidious. We are right to complain.
     
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  14. Here's the letter that went off

    Dear Sir,

    In an article today you wrote:

    A woman, 20, who was with her father in(sic) his Harley-Davidson is fighting for her life after crashing in Lygon St, Brunswick, on Saturday night.

    The pair were thrown into a pole after their bike clipped a taxi about 10.15pm.


    Saying the bike "clipped" a taxi implies it was the fault of the motorcyclist.

    But here's an eyewitness account:

    Coming down Lygon Street on the corner of Glenlyon Street at around 10:20pm, two of our party on a Harley Davidson right in front of me were travelling south at around 40-50Km/h in the left lane when a Taxi driver (without indicating or looking) suddenly went from the right lane to the left lane before the intersection to either avoid a right turning vehicle or make a left turn. He broadsided the bike and continued to push with the rider fighting it all the way, his peg scraping along the bitumen until the bike, rider and pillion struck a power pole on the corner. The Taxi accelerated through the intersection as the rider and pillion were crunched and the spinning bike flung across behind him.

    While we are accustomed to prejudicial language when it comes to describing motorcycle crashes (and motorcyclists in general) this goes beyond the pale. We have a young woman fighting for her life in intensive care as the result of a taxi drivers incompetence but your newspaper implies that her father is to blame. I would suggest a retraction and apology might be in order in this case.
     
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  15. I just commented on the article and after doing so I was presented with a page outlining their basis for displaying comments.

    So I wouldn't expect any of our responses to be published, even if we are attempting to correct THEIR "clear errors of fact"
     
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  16. I have submitted two comments to the Herald.

    Notably the first never got published.

    The second - I tried to add to the argument, taking gco0307's approach.

    We have a poor girl seriously ill in hospital - and all it gets is a crappy inaccurate report - not one that will make any car driver sit up and take notice. :evil: :evil:

    It would be nice to see the Herald apologise to her for the way they have just flicked her off as yet another "we can't do anything about it" and "she was on a motorcycle, so what did you expect" report....
     
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  17. Apologies, I am a slow typist and didn't didn't notice you post with that information.







    Garry
     
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  18. I got published!!!!!:grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

    Read it Here

    Afraid - I made a few typo spelling errors :oops:- but hopefully the message got across.
     
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  19. I refuse to read that gutter rag, so I missed it.
     
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  20. Back when I used to listen to 3LO, I'd often listen to Red Symons on the way to work. Around that time of the morning he'd have someone from the police media unit on to report on various incidences. The usual people were Wayne Wilson and Karla Koslovich, both senior connies.

    I got sick of the reports that were always worded to imply that it was always the riders' fault. So I wrote to Red asking him if he'd bring this up and ask why the cops did this.

    Well, next morning imagine my surprise when Red asked Koslovich about this. She tut-tutted and asked if it was a motorcyclist that was asking, to which Red said that he supposed so. "Typical" was the response from Koslovich.

    That made me fume. I complained to the media unit but I never heard anything more from it. If I had complained to ESD (a mate of mine was assigned to it at the time but he hates bikes with a passion) they would have laughed it off, probably. So I wrote to Brendan Jenkins our then local member. Again, nothing came of it, aside from the usual, "thank you for your letter concerning...." form letter.

    Journaliars like to present themselves as a professionals, ie. belonging to a profession. Thing is, real estate agents and car salesmen exhibit more professionalism than what journaliars do. In spades of the losers who "work" for the police media unit.
     
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