08 August 2010

Telly Torques Tourism: one story, two headlines

Submitted for your approval:  the same story with two headlines. 

“Northern peninsula needs to spark interest: group” as the Telegram put it.

Ho hum.

But what about ‘Tourism association looking for ways to battle drop in visitors” as you find it in Western Star?

This is a good an example as one will find of an editor sticking a headline on a story that doesn’t match the story underneath. Sometimes it is the result of unadulterated stunnedness.  Sometimes, it is deliberate.

The telegram headline makes it sound like the Viking Trail Association just needs to pull up its socks and do better.  But the actual story includes this comment from Barbara Genge of the Viking Trail Tourism Association:

The Northern Peninsula falls under the umbrella of the Western Destination Marketing Organization, which is a setup Genge says has expectedly seen a drop in marketing funds specifically to the region. Since they are one piece of the whole western region, she says they are competing with other areas for what is available.

In order words, the Viking association is losing out to other more populous areas or ones led by people with more clout.  A UNESCO World Heritage site may be getting short-shrift.

The Telegram headline covers up a far more intriguing and complex tale. The Western Star – where the story originated – actually got it right.

And the story actually includes a balancing view from the umbrella tourism association.  Mike* Clewer, executive director of  WDMO told the Star:

“We have limited resources, both financially and in human terms, and we try and do the best we can, which is to work with groups like that who are trying to help themselves,” Clewer said.

But none of this is as devoid of flavour as the Telegram would have you believe.  It’s almost like they were trying to make you skip over it.

- srbp -

* Mike, not Mark.