Monday, 2 March 2015

Outstanding piece of Journalism . . .Not!!!

Came across this terrifying story from the Daily Mail (where else?) under the blood-curdling headline :

Mother's terror after she found 8ins 'Jurassic-sized' Dragonfly flying around her living room . . .

. . . but then goes on to tell a total non-story with a few compulsory errors just to spice it up a bit.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2708631/Mother-s-terror-8in-Jurassic-sized-dragonfly-flying-round-living-room-like-mini-helicopter.html

What do you think of that then?

The journo hasn't bothered to identify it. They've borrowed some info from the British Dragonfly Society so why didn't they send the photo to the BDS to identify the dragonfly, where they would have found out it was a female Southern Hawker, widespread and common, and frequent visitor to gardens, where it could easily fly in through an open door, oh and is around 7cms in length.

They correctly state the female Golden-ringed is Britain's biggest dragonfly but then say it is 8 INCHES long (I'll bet that's what he tells all the girls, when he really means centimetres)

This is how the 'story' could have been written (if at all) :

Woman finds a dragonfly in her living room

A woman got quite a shock when she found a large dragonfly whirring around her living room after leaving the back door open on a sunny July day.
The dragonfly, identified as a female Southern Hawker, and at 7cms long one of Britain's largest and commonest species, is a frequent visitor to our gardens where they will breed in even the smallest of ponds.
The woman and her daughter (who obviously have no knowledge of the natural world whatsoever) were actually quite terrified, though her three-year old grand-daughter saw sense enough to realise it was a beautiful and harmless creature. The woman eventually calmed down enough to first of all take some photos of it (thinking she could make a few bob from the papers), and then kindly opened the window to let it out. It flew off and was never seen again, hardly surprising as it was probably deafened by all the screaming.
A spokesman for the British Dragonfly Society might have said " Well if you leave your door open on a sunny day in July there's always the chance it'll happen, an anecdote for her friends maybe but I don't think it warrants a story in a national newspaper, oh the Daily Mail, oh well just lift some random facts from our website to fill it out, add a few lies to make it more interesting for your reader, then use a scary headline to make it seem like we're all going to die."

Which to their credit, they did. I mean, why let the facts get in the way of a good (?) story :-)


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