The Australian

Feb 24, 2011

Creating a story at the #LOLstralian

I'd like to direct your attention to this story from Crikey editor Sophie Black about an

I’d like to direct your attention to this story from Crikey editor Sophie Black about an interaction with Matthew Franklin and Caroline Overington of the Australian, and the story that resulted from it.

The précis version is that a comment at Poll Bludger, that has since been removed, is being described by the Oz as an ‘article’ which Crikey had to remove. An interesting take considering some of the comments at News Ltd online properties.

Personally, what I found most enlightening was Black’s retelling of her interaction with Overington:

Before saying goodbye, she mentioned the difficulty of moderating comments

Which may explain why so few posts at Media Diary ever have comments posted.

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36 thoughts on “Creating a story at the #LOLstralian

  1. quantize

    ‘I’m not sure what your analogy means.’

    think teecha, learn teecha

    it means it’s not like it’s even a featured comment…there’s no direct association or endorsment of the comment by Crikey.

    Just what part of this BS could you NOT GET?

  2. teecha

    [email protected],

    it’s an electronic medium in the public domain with indexing and searching functions. I’m not sure what your analogy means.

  3. quantize

    Defending the indefensible, i can’t imagine how our resident conservative apologists think that any discourse is helped by such blatant fibbing an misrepresentation as the Oz attempting to whip this little number up..

    But no, just like climate change, journalistic standards are just a another political football for the right wing to play tit for tat with..creating more false equivalences.

  4. paul of albury

    teecha, it was ‘presented’ 500 items down the comments list. That’s more analagous to the classifieds than letters to the editor.

  5. rhwombat

    MoFo: “Slainte”…I’ll take that as a compliment, though I’m sure it wasn’t meant as one.

  6. teecha

    Revolution, if I’ve gleaned anything at all from what goes on here, it’s that it doesn’t matter how broad the brush, tar just doesn’t spread that well. It may be that it has, but how often does PP take its siblings to task?

    This line from the linked story from Sophie Black refers to the comment in question:

    … It was presented in the style of a breaking news article from The Australian about the New Zealand earthquakes, below the byline of Matthew Franklin.

    So, I’m with Upyasmum on this, except for puzzlement @22 where the Oz’s media writer is said to be correcting the record. Is that a media-euphemism for sticking it up yas?

  7. quantize

    ‘Quantize, still nothing? Keep trying. It’ll come.’

    And you thought that was anything?

    See a doctor asap

  8. Upyasmum

    Epon, I’m simply running the line I feel is right. I don’t take issue with a journalist asking that only his work be attributed to him, regardless of where it appears. But my main point is that Crikey shouldn’t complain about having errors covered in the media, regardless of how minor they are.

    “One other thing. What’s to say that someone whose actual name is Matthew Franklin wrote the comment?”

    Fair enough. But it would be a fantastic coincidence if he wrote for a publication also called The Australian, like specified in the piece. I guess it could happen though.

    [email protected],

    “Naturally there’s no difference between comment 500 on a blog and letter 10 published in the national broadsheet”.

    Only scale. I picked the print edition of the Oz for obvious reasons, but I’d confidently plonk down a fistful of my hard-earned that the strength of your complaint would be identical if a fake article attributed to you appeared as comment 984 on the Bolt site. You would be rightly keen for it to be either removed or very clearly identified that it wasn’t actually by you. I’m sure that both these options were available to Sophie Black when she was deciding on an appropriate course of action, but it seems she was forced to remove it because of the comments policy.

    Quantize, still nothing? Keep trying. It’ll come.


  9. revolutionary

    So the Australian wants to wag its finger at other media outlets about the moderation on blogs? Bit rich coming from the News Ltd stable and some of the vile rhetoric they let go there. Lets have a look at some of the profoundly insightful political analysis that is acceptable today after say….Piers Akermann’s balanced reporting on the carbon tax. Apologies for my inability to format this better. It is rather formulaic, you start with an unhinged wingnut making a poor metaphor;

    “Gillard’s Carbon Tax is a noose around her neck.
    Gillard is the last to see this.
    She is so deeply in her Left cult .. so displaced from reality ….
    This woman is a dark force puppet. She is a menace….”
    John Jay (Reply)
    Thu 24 Feb 11 (08:09pm)

    Then let someone in the comments take this further;

    Louisa replied to John Jay
    Thu 24 Feb 11 (10:24pm)
    “I’ll happily supply the noose – free of charge and carbon taxfree”

    and then further still, all in tasteful humour of course;

    Alex replied to John Jay
    Fri 25 Feb 11 (10:45am)
    “Loisa, make sure the noose is made out of carbon fibre!”

    until bingo, you have what constitutes a death threat;

    Caz replied to John Jay
    Fri 25 Feb 11 (11:13am)
    “Louisa and Alex, don’t go to any trouble, I’ll do it with my bare hands!”

    Alternatively, just let the crazies really go for it with no restraint whatsoever ;

    steven replied to ChomFa
    Thu 24 Feb 11 (10:37pm)
    “i have been telling my family for several years now that there will be a civil war in Australia.
    people will only take so much.
    there are more of us than there are in the government and army,navy ,air force.
    we may not be as well armed but we would out number them.
    i believe as in other countries many armed service personnel and police who are also affected by governments would be on the side of the people.
    viva la revolution. ”

    Of course as Bolt et al told us after the Tuscon shooting of a US Congresswoman in January, violent rhetoric from the right is not to be taken at face value at all and it in no way influences anyone on the fringe of sanity to take such comments seriously…..

  10. Holden Back

    I believe there’s a wide choice of entry paths into that profession, quantize. My local TAFE offers a Cert IV in Arsehattery, but you can do a Graduate Diploma (Dip. Arse.) at a number of universities.

  11. quantize

    Honestly, I didn’t know Arsehat was an actual profession until I read your posts Upya.

    Clearly all your posts are created from a single template..if you want arguments from me you are going to have to sharpen up those comprehensions skills because your reactionary conservative goggles™ seem unable to allow the simple fact that the Oz flogged a comment as an article on this site to sink in.

    btw, any insult hurled my way from the likes of you is always worn as a badge of pride.

  12. Jeremy Sear

    “*except for Jeremy. But we all know that if the Oz published a letter to the editor that included an article attributed to him, which he didn’t write, he’d be threatening legal action and demanding a prominent correction.”

    Naturally there’s no difference between comment 500 on a blog and letter 10 published in the national broadsheet.

  13. Eponymous

    One other thing. What’s to say that someone whose actual name is Matthew Franklin wrote the comment?

  14. Eponymous

    Bullshit Upyas. Heading and first paragraph:

    ‘Crikey Forced to Take Down Fake Abbott News Story’

    ‘Eric Beecher’s Crikey website has been forced to remove a fake news story that had Tony Abbott saying New Zealanders weren’t as likely as Australians to care about the dead and wounded in a natural disaster’.

    Sure, somewhere in the article they mention a comment from a blog post, but by including this and the headline, it’s pretty freakin clear what their intent was.

    And bullshit it ‘needed to come down’. Under what criterion did it need to come down?

    What, we’re censoring the internet now? So clearly Overington’s ‘Much Ado’ piece should have come down and been replaced by an apology?

    You are of course free to be as one eyed as you like Upyas, but it actually doesn’t convince anyone else.

  15. Upyasmum

    No they didn’t, Tim. The piece in the Australian clearly stated that the “article was published in the comments section of a blog…”

    There seems to be no argument* that the piece needed to come down. And without it being available now it’s a hard to argue one way or another. We should accept that the editor made the right call in line with the policies of Crikey and that specific blog.

    There seems to be two complaints about the Oz article:

    Firstly, whether the Oz was manufacturing a story by publishing this tale of woe. The argument can be made but I disagree with it. I reckon it’s fair for the Australian’s chief political correspondent to ask that a fake article attributed to him be taken down. And I reckon it’s fair for the Oz’s media writer to correct the record and run it as news.

    The second issue is whether sites are responsible for the comments they allow to be published. It would be an interesting development if regulars on PP started to argue that not to be the case.


    *except for Jeremy. But we all know that if the Oz published a letter to the editor that included an article attributed to him, which he didn’t write, he’d be threatening legal action and demanding a prominent correction.

    Quantize, please see Tim’s comments for an example of an argument. You might use this as a bit template to get you started. We’re almost through Feb and you still haven’t contributed anything but angry insults. Keep trying though. I reckon 2011 is the year!

    Daniel, I hate it when we bicker. You look like a zany bloke, the kind I’d love to hang with. I’m really eager not to jeopardise any future friendship we might be able to spark up. Thanks for pointing me to the best bits of Sophie. It was a terrific help. Please refer above for my thoughts – as childish as they may be. Seriously though, bro, we could be tight.

  16. Daniel

    “The reader’s prose was not, however, a Crikey story. Or a Crikey article. Or even a Crikey blog post.”

    There you are Upyasmum. I’ve pasted the most important sentence from Black’s article so it’s really easy to read. Hope this helps. 🙂

  17. Daniel

    Props to Upyasmum for demonstrating what an illiterate child would think about this.

  18. Tim Dymond

    The point, @18 is that a comment on a blog post was described as a ‘story’ by the Australian – thus giving a misleading impression of what the stakes are in taking it down. If this had been a satirical article commissioned by Crikey editors and included as part of the daily newsletter, then said editors being ‘forced’ to take it down would indeed be a worth extra ink. Personally I have an old fashioned attitude that deleting an unsolicited comment under a blog post that by comment 500 has clearly turned into a general discussion is simply not the same situation. The Australian is misleading its readers by suggesting otherwise.

  19. Upyasmum

    I’m not sure why you girls are getting so hysterical over this one.

    A comment slipped through moderation. The editor was alerted, deemed it unfit for publication and removed it. Given that the “article” claimed to be lifted from the Oz, they corrected the record. Furthermore, because Crikey so often claims to be the moral authority on all things media, The Oz gave the correction a little extra ink. Good for them.

    If you’ve got a problem with the comment being removed, take it up with the editor of this site. If you’ve got a problem with media being held publicly accountable for what they publish, leave this site.

    I’m not trying to diminish your passion to piss and moan about everything, all the time. I simply thought it was worth pointing out how thin-skinned it is in this specific case.


  20. Jeremy Sear


  21. quantize

    ‘I might just take this opportunity to point out the absurdity…blah blah’

    Seriously, you should give up…I know you won’t..because you’re RIGHT, right?

    But you make a complete fool of yourself with almost every single post.

  22. SHV

    The best bit was where Overington wrote (about the satirical parody sending up News Ltd’s love of Abbott, hatred of Muslims, shamelessly shit journalism) that it:

    “…bore no resemblance to anything published by the paper…”

    Of course it did, that’s how satire works you nong.

    Oh, by the way: Matthew Franklin

    That should keep his people busy!

  23. confessions

    Or perhaps that’s life imitates art? Hard to tell these days. 😆

  24. confessions

    What’s interesting is it was that particular comment by BB that came to the attention of the OO. It was by no means his best parody – I still prefer the send up he did of Nikki Savva ‘writing’ a critique of the hearing impaired translator/s at all Bligh pressers during the floods/Yasi for their “distracting hand movements”. Truly brilliant, and written in the vein of Savva’s hysterical piercing assessment of Gillard’s clothes, hair, hands etc which was covered here.

    How debasement that a Walkley Award winning journalist is allegedly left trawling indie media blog comments’ sections for material for her own column. Art definately imitates life.

  25. Daniel

    “I might just take this opportunity to point out the absurdity of a site dedicated to publishing errors in media moaning about having one of their publication’s errors published.”

    Thanks for the idiot’s point of view, Upyasmum. Much appreciated.

  26. rhwombat

    MoFo: WTF?

  27. Lloyd McDonald

    As if we needed confirmation that Overington has moved to the dark side.

    How can anyone take her seriously after this travesty.

    It’s on par with the stunt Albrechtsen pulled with the French muslim rape beat up.

  28. Upyasmum

    I might just take this opportunity to point out the absurdity of a site dedicated to publishing errors in media moaning about having one of their publication’s errors published.

    Such is life at PP that mistakes made by Crikey highlight flaws at The Oz.


  29. quantize

    Busy reporting Ltd News @ the Oz…situation normal…pithy lies and smears (check!)

  30. OzPol Tragic

    Poor Caroline! Nasty Labor robbed her of her part in the OO’s treasured “Kingmaker” role, causing the poor dahling to fire off soon-to-be-leaked emails, leading to a nasty on-video melt-down. Then came relevance deprivation. Ah, the unfairness of it all!

    I’d have thought she owed Bushfire Bill a compliment for acknowledging her continued existence as an OO employee.

  31. Cuppa

    Satire aside, the OO has been a joke for some time anyway.

  32. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Is 500 tv channels too many? What about 499?

  33. Dong

    The frightening thing with those comments by a certain reader is that though meant to be fiction they are so easy to take as the real work of those who consider themselves ‘serious’ journalists.

  34. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    See ya later bludgers, I have to get out before MT puts me to sleep. He is so boring. It is even worse when he has no idea of what he is talking about.

  35. Holden Back

    La Overington is notoriously thin-skinned. Seems ironic, working for News.

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