Sunday, 11 February 2018

Daily Mail: Leading The Race To The Bottom

I first realised that something was wrong in 2004 or 2005 when I picked up a copy of the Daily Mail and on the front page headline the word "marriage" was spelled incorrectly.

 Since then, I have noticed an accelerating decline in the use of the English language in all media. But it is not only a grammatical problem: this is from the Mail on Sunday today (11 Feb).

"Over the past century, photography has emerged as perhaps the most accessible and influential art form, allowing us to bear witness to some of our planet's most formative moments in recent time. 

Whether it be the the scenes of devastation on 9/11 or the aftermath of nuclear fallout in Vietnam, many of us are able to instantly recognise the most iconic and controversial photographs ever taken." 

Nuclear fallout in Vietnam?

Newspapers now appear to expect journalists to work for nothing. We have a saying "pay peanuts, and you get monkeys”.

Was there not a sub-editor in place to pick this up?

Well, I suspect that I know the answer to that. No, there wasn't. I wonder even if the typesetting (is it still called that now?) is outsourced to a country where English is not the native language, but labour is cheap.

It is not just the Daily Mail, of course. As a publisher myself I follow my competitors carefully. 

It may be that the Daily Mail simply reflects the academic level of its readership, which I think is quite likely the case. But that is no excuse for editorial incompetence and illiteracy.

No comments:

Post a Comment