One of my photos


November 29th, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 1 Comment · Life

If I find myself between jobs again at any time I think I shall pro-actively apply to the Crawley News for their obvious vacancy as a spell-checker/proof-reader/fact checker…

Just in the few bits I have read this week I was distracted by:

A picture of the youth was used on the front page with his eyes and nose blacked out, but a district judge siting at Hastings Magistrates’ Court ruled this did not do enough to protect his identity.

The typo almost distracted me from the point of the story – that the News was found guilty.

On page 8 I tripped over a reference to the head of Thomas Bennett described as “Mrs Maskatiya”. I’ll give the News the benefit of the doubt but I’m pretty sure she is a “Ms”. Still with education, there was this –

Gill Smith, headteacher at Oriel High School, in Maidenbower, supported the ideas, saying “We would like to increase out standards as a whole by having a higher education in Crawley.”

Ouch! Blatant typo in a story about higher education. Its a text book example of how computer spell-checkers can be fooled if your wrong word just happens to be in the dictionary.

A more factual error is in the short piece on Ken Loach’s visit:

It’s A Free World tels the story of a single mother and the obstacles she faces both living and working in the UK as an illegal immigrant.

Well sort of. The protagonist is a single mother, but she is British. She sets up an agency to provide workers to factories and building sites, initially for legal migrants but ending up recruiting ‘clandestinos’.

Of course the News can’t be blamed for containing the phrase that Henry Smith is the “only politician who knows what he is talking about” because its a direct quote. It is also undeniably true – Henry Smith is the only politician who knows what Henry Smith is on about.

But all that is just trivial, especially compared to page 23 which starts with:

The Christmas season arrived in style at the weekend, as the town centre’s festive lights switch-on saw the town’s first laser show.

Style? We saw that there were four little laser generators blu-tacked to the bandstand on Saturday, anticipated that the display would be less than impressive, and buggered off to the Sikh temple early instead. Fireworks we would have stayed for, or a laser rig that was more impressive than a suburban disco we might have stayed for, but not that.

And its not just me being spoiled by having seen Jean-Michel Jarre live, and seeing Pink Floyd at three different venues (now thats a proper laser show!). Comments from friends who clung on in town and a couple of letters in the Crawley Observer agree that it was a very disappointing show.

The excuse given was that Queen’s Square is now too enclosed for a fireworks display… well the show in the memorial gardens the other year was OK, why not go back there? Or what about roofs? Surely one of the shops around Queen’s Square would have been happy to allow fireworks to be set up on their roof? Maybe its just cost-cutting by the council?

I did enjoy seeing the band 84mm playing though. It made a change from the usual endless procession of second-rate tribute bands.

As a regular Guardian reader I shouldn’t really criticise the News for typos, but what the hell. I just felt in that kind of mood.

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