Highs and lows of UK journalism today

Guardian UN peace keepers Syria

Please read the photo caption, or click on the image to read the article

Earlier today, I referred to a superb piece of journalism. This evening, it was a case of “back to reality”.

The Guardian, a respected UK newspaper, published this major story today. A story totally ruined by the use of a strange word – once in the caption, once again in the body of the article.

First, the item itself: Major General Robert Mood, head of the Syrian UN peace-observer mission , announced a suspension of operations “until further notice”.

The article goes on: “It comes amid claim [sic] that Syrian government forces has [sic] recommenced shelling in the capital Damascus, killing 12 people, according to opposition figures.

“The past two weeks have seen a worrying escalation in violence in the country. A massacre in the town of Houla on May 25 resulted in the deaths of more than 100 people, many of them women and children.” [1]

Two errors already, in a single sentence! But the worst feature (for me) was the inclusion – first in the caption and later repeated in the body of the article – of a strange word: “uptick”.

I confess to having had to check the Oxford Concise Dictionary [2]. I found that “uptick” is listed as:

noun, North American; definition – “a small increase”.

So, the quoted “worrying escalation in violence in the country” is really nothing worse than an “uptick”. We should all breathe a sigh of relief, wonder why the (unarmed) UN force is so cowardly as to suspend operations, and forget about those who have been massacred, “many of them women and children”.

Pah! I think I’ll subscribe to “The Sun” [3] tabloid!

[1]: UK Guardian

[2] Oxford Dictionary Online

[3] The Sun


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