Monday, June 13, 2005

Dictionary of Journalistic Clichés

[via mrbrown via Simon World]
Want to cut through the smokescreen? A sampling:
Informed source: Reads the newspaper
War-torn: We can't find it on a map
Knowledgable observers: The reporter and the person at the next desk
Self-styled: Phony
Guru: see "Self-styled"
Troubled youth: arsonist
Recently: We lost the press release
First in the modern history of ... : no entries in NewsLink
Never: Not in NewsLink or Google
Source who spoke on condition of anonymity: PR flack
Highbrow: boring
Family Values: right wing idiot
Progressive: left wing idiot
Couldn't be reached for comment: the reporter didn't call until after 5pm
Legendary: about to die
Good Samaritan: Too stupid to run away
Innocent bystander: Too slow to run away
Activist: Will talk to press
Stunned: couldn't give a decent quote
Dapper: Hasn't bought new clothes in 20 years
With news wire services: no original reporting whatsoever

It's an Australian list, but that only affects the examples they use. Apparently their journalists went to the same jargon-camps that ours did.

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