Friday, June 27, 2008


We have to give it to people like dw and others who hit the nail on the head time and time again (without eliciting death threats) when it comes to calling out journalists and their subs/editors/heads of department when nonsense appears on the pages of the country's newspapers.

Case in point: we never thought we would have to pick up Richard Charan of the Express for something like this, but Richard, seriously.
Your story in the Friday edition is titled 'Girl gang-raped by seven men'. OK. So we read the first paragraph.
"Seven men are suspects in the wedding night rape of a 13-year-old girl, who said she was drugged and assaulted in a bedroom of the newlyweds' home during the after ceremony party. The girl said she awoke to find a man raping her and six men watching."
OK. Sounds reasonable.

Then there's this questionable paragraph: "The girl said she was drugged and unconscious when taken to a room, and sometime around 10.30 a.m. came out of her daze." So no one in the house knew this girl was in a room with 7 men until 10:30am?

But then we read your penultimate sentence.
"How many men were involved in the assault is unknown."
So why you and your sub/editor/head of department/whoever decide to put that headline to your story???

Richard, you are one of the better writers at that newspaper. Please don't start falling into the category of bad writing like some of your colleagues.

And Geisha Kowlessar over at the Guardian told us in her story on the rescue of Avita Bissoondatt that the 'Hunt on for three soldiers', and the paper's bold front page headline is 'Manhunt for soldiers'.
However, nowhere in her story is reference made to soldiers, except again in her penultimate paragraph where she tells us "Investigators said they got information that men dressed in camouflage uniforms were spotted going in and out of the shack for the past four days."
So Geisha, who told you those men were soldiers? Did any law enforcement officer actually say to you that the police were looking for three soldiers?
It's illegal but not impossible for people who are not members of the army/regiment to buy/get access to and wear camouflage outfits.

So on top of the Richplain brouhaha you want to go and put the army in more trouble?
If we are wrong and it turns out that army officers were really involved in this kidnapping, we will humbly apologize to you. But if you are wrong, what will you do?