28 June 2011

Get me re-write!

The headline on the story is catchy:

Inquiry needed on centre closure:  advocate

At the start of second paragraph you find out that the advocate the headline writer is referring to is Merv Wiseman.  He is described as “Long-time Canadian Coast Guard employee…”.

But Merv isn’t just an impartial bystander in this little drama and he is a wee bit more than an “advocate”.

Wiseman is the shop steward for the union local representing the workers whose jobs are being moved to Halifax. You don’t find that little tidbit until paragraph three. 

In other media reports, Merv has been identified as one of the people affected by the coast guard decision.

Here’s the existing fourth paragraph and the logic Wiseman uses in calling for a provincial public inquiry:

"We've had provincial inquiries, provincial and judicial inquiries before because of marine tragedies. Here's an opportunity for the government now to show some real leadership."

Is the CBC story accurate?  Not by a long shot. Of course, if they had described Wiseman accurately, his claim would be a lot harder to sustain.  Try this on for size.

Instead of “advocate” in the headline, substitute “union rep”.

And instead of the existing front end of the story, try this:

The union representative  for coast guard workers whose jobs are being relocated to Halifax wants the provincial government to launch a public inquiry into the implications of the federal government’s decision.

Then drop in the existing third and fourth paragraphs.

Big difference in the story, wouldn’t you agree?

- srbp -