Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Random Conversations with the News Media

Insp Hogday:   "Force Control Room, can I help you"?

News Agency Man:   "Hi Hog, its Dave from Leer and Smear News Agency. A little bird tells me of a sudden death in Sticksville. A detached house in Ruby Road, couple of middle aged male occupants. I believe one of them was found dead in....what shall I say... unusual circumstances. Anything you can throw me on this one"?

HD: "Hello Dave, who have you been talking to this time"? (hears chuckle, followed by smokers cough).

NAM: "Well, you know, we have our sources. So what's the deal on this one"?

HD: "There's no deal Dave, you know very well that sudden deaths are investigations on behalf of HM Coroner. As well as serving that most ancient of Royal Appointments we are also mindful of the sensitivities of the bereaved so I won't be divulging anything to you on this matter. Anything else I can help you with today"?

NAM: "Well can I put it this way, we've been told that the circumstances are quite unusual, so a little steer would be really useful".

HD: "Listen very carefully, for I shall say this only once. If you are thinking `bizarre homosexual or erotic intrigue`, forget it. Now, can you tell me why you are thinking its unusual, or perhaps you can tell me what happened in the Gulf War overnight"?

NAM: "Can't you give me something Off the record"?

HD: "Ok Dave, off the record, this telephone line is recorded for our mutual assistance and protection. On the record I'm never off the record, now piss off, please". (More laughter and coughing).
End of call.

I refer to the final, short, paragraph of my previous post.

Addendum: Having just listened to some of the Gov't committee proceedings, it occurred to me that not only would I still not use that paper for the purpose I said, but neither would I want to employ anyone associated with it, but then I was never in the business of recruiting people into a police media relations department and neither, would it seem, was the former commissioner or assistant commissioner. For the bulk of my service there were no ex journalists working within the job, in fact we never had a media relations department at all in my county force until the 80's. Such naïveté . (I wonder how much these media departments cost and could the police manage without them?)

(and in case you were wondering, the poor deceased died with his head down the lav'. The news leak could have only come from the police or the ambulance service or the undertaker  or a relative of any of the aforementioned who may have been told. I'm sure the news agency wasn't hacking into the police radio net, I mean, even when they got to incidents before we did, I'm sure it was just down to a journo's instinct)


sparkflash said...

Journalists not actually paragons of virtue and may get up to grubby shenanigans in pursuit of column inches? The only bit that surprised me was that this, apparently, came as a surprise to some people.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Exactly my thoughts, Sparkflash. The shock/horror farce in the news media is breathtaking.

Conan the Librarian™ said...

With his head down the lav...

He didn't have gas then?

Hogdayafternoon said...

Bad case of a heart attack en route to an urgent wc - a perfect dive by all accounts, hardly made a splash. Oh the vagaries of humour.

Blue Eyes said...

Mr Hogday you have far too much integrity and professionalism. No wonder you were forced out.

CI-Roller Dude said...

I learned many years ago to NEVER talk to the news folks on the phone. If I was the copper who had to give them some info, I wrote it out so my boss would not come back and yell at me later because the newspuke messed up the info.
I could show my boss the written info I had given the newspuke, and say: "See, I gave them this and they still made up shite".

For every incident I was at and read in the news later, at least 50% of it was wrong or madeup.

Then one day I realized that the problem was...the news pukes went to college to do their jobs...but they never actually had a real job where they had to know anything.

TonyF said...

News = made up olds.

Anything that has been touched by a 'murdoch' or the other 'fat twat' type treat as poison.

Remember the meeja only exists to exist. Like so called 'sportsmen' if they were all wiped off the Earth tomorrow, would they be missed?

I get pissed off when they state that the rubbish press 'Did Good' Like hell they did, they lined their pockets and laughed at the lackwits that pay for their arse wipes.

Hogdayafternoon said...

Blue: Some good it did me!

Roller dude: +1

TonyF; I wonder who's hacking Norwegian's mobiles now?