Friday, October 22, 2004

Bloody corporate whores.

Honestly, I despair at the times we live in.

This morning was hectic enough as it is, with half of my team at the newsdesk away at conferences or business trips. The rush to publish all our aticles on the site before deadline was even more frantic than usual, if that's possible. And my two biggest stories of the day came in late. That's where the problems began.

The second article, which arrived a good ten minutes after the deadline but which was too important not to put up, was a monster at well over our 1,000-word limit. But the real problem came five minutes later when I got an e-mail from its author asking me to magically "hold" the article while she sent it to one of the company managers for his approval. Why? Because it was about one of our clients having re-jigged their profit numbers (legally) to give the impression that they had earned more than in fact they did. Not really having the time to explain why "hold the front page" doesn't really apply in online journalism, I said fine and began to hack away at it anyway, assuming that the manager in question would only make a couple cosmetic changes that could be quickly incorporated into the piece.

Thirty minutes later... after having completely edited the original version and having missed the chance to include the slug on the daily e-alerts we send out, I finally receive the updated version.

Half of it's been re-written. Not only that, but the new bits do everything possible to soften the blow for the client company, making it seem like it was being unfairly criticised and treated by the markets for trying to put a positive spin on things and for "making the best out of a bad situation." Aaaaargh! I'd like to say that this was the first time this kind of situation has arisen, but it's not, and I'm sick of having to publish this watered-down dross when we could be actually having an impact by telling the truth!

There's so much more I need to say about this, but I don't want to go into too much detail for fear of losing my job. And yes, I am aware that there's more than a tinge of irony about that.


At October 12, 2005 12:54 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feel free to come and check it out if you get time :-)


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