Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Quality journalism

I read this story on grough (also at the Northern Echo) about a journalist who, at the height of the Cumbrian floods last year, made a hoax call about a stranded walker on Skiddaw.

Such hoax calls happen frequently, and are bad enough. However, the mountain rescue team were suspicious, and called in the police. Whilst investigating, they found a pre-written story about the incident on her laptop. Her crass stupidity led to a mountain rescue team being called out during a period when genuine need of such services was high.

Apparently the 'journalist' (if she deserves such a title) was trying to see if the volunteer services could cope with 'usual' incidents at a time in which they were at full stretch due to the floods. Which makes as much sense as, say, starting a fire during the Blitz 'to see if they could cope'.

She did not attend the trial due to illness, and that a warrant has been made for her arrest.

This has to be one of the worst cases of irresponsible journalism that I have heard of for some time. Whilst no harm came of it, it shows an utter disdain and lack of appreciation for the work of the mountain rescue teams.

I have never needed their help and, touch wood, I shall never be in need of their skills. But if I do, then I would want them available and rested, rather than out on the hills answering a hoax call.

No comments: