Tuesday, June 3, 2014

More highlights (Part 2)...

I'll start with a reporting/editing lapse, a failure to fact-check, by the "gold standard" New York Times, and TODAY's own carelessness in not spotting it, in a story covering the Shangri-La Dialogue (June 3) here in Singapore:

Will the real keynote speaker please stand up?

Salah (wrong)! Mr Hagel was not the keynote speaker. Japanese PM Shinzo "Rising Sun rag to a red bull" Abe was -- and both international and local media had prominently advertised that fact, in the knowledge that China would bristle. The NYT then compounded its error:

His excellency the keynote speaker, was reduced to just an ordinary speaker! And TODAY's editorial checkers -- who had people at the venue during the confab  -- were asleep on their watch.

The China Syndrome

Incidentally, the last bit of that NYT report caught my eye for one reason:

Aiyoh, this senior diplomat very shy, man, despite his country being allied to the mighty USA. So it becomes a self-fulfilling fear; if a US ally is so afraid of China, what does it portend for other regional countries? Start learning Mandarin, man.

'Cloak and dagger' jargon!

TODAY seemed to have also gone to sleep on a local story (June 3) made difficult to follow because of the liberal inclusion of jargon, especially in direct quotes that were not explained:

"...we endeavour to harness intelligence from the myriad of data collected..." Huh? There's a secret agent hiding under every train seat??

In contrast, I found ST's version so much easier to follow; an effort was made to avoid using as direct quotes the newsmakers' jargon-filled remarks, and when jargon was used, the effort was made to explain those terms:

Bugged by the Acronym Bunglers!

As I said in a recent blogpost, Singaporeans are acronym-crazy. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats do a very bad job of it...

Okay, FASTER sounds appropriate -- but only if the initials make sense. Fusion AnalyticS?? That's cheating (apart from that phrase being a terrible piece of jargon)... if FAPTER sounds ridiculous, junk the contrived acronym. Take a leaf from SMRT, the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Corporation. Easy off the lips, with no attempt to render "Mass" as "MAss"! (That would not have been a smart move, and it would have been soooooo ridiculous!!)

Beware! Construction (still) in progress!

Stay tuned.

Wow, if not for this man, I would not have been a PolSci student! 


Finally, this one is for Angie, Liane, Lynn and Mike: all fellow Nespresso imbibers...

Now, if only we are able to convince CK to come over to the "Dark Side"!

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