- Oct 2019
the first female Wiggle, Emma Watkins
Wow, that's a very big influential name in showbiz there. When others in Fairfax regurgitated this story, they regurgitated her quotes on the Queen Quest's value.
You may have missed that, but here's what niche womens issue publication 'Womens Agenda' said in its article titled 'This councillor wanted to debate beauty pageants. They called him a wanker' - here's the relevant section:
*But can these pageants actually be a positive platform to build a career?
Emma Watkins, also known as the Yellow Wiggle, thinks so. Ryde City Council has run these pageants for 30 years and several famous names have emerged as prior festival queens, with Watkins being one who won not one but 2 pageants, in both 2005 and 2009.
Watkins said that winning is more focused on community involvement than beauty.
“As a little girl I just aspired to be a Granny Smith Festival Queen,” said Watkins, now age 25. “[Judging is] definitely all about contestants’ involvement in the community.
Watkins says that the pageant improved her self-confidence, instead of the popular belief that it is harmful for young girls self esteem: “Winning improved my confidence and pubic speaking and self-esteem in the middle of those teenage years.”
- That article even got the basic context right: * "Simon proposed the motion to debate the Council’s support for beauty pageants after reading – week after week – stories in the local paper about the competitions.........
"It wasn’t the debate he got."*
This year's Miss Eastwood winner, 17-year-old PLC Pymble student Lucy Fang of Marsfield, said she would use the $1000 prize money from Yuhu Group to restart a local reading program for young children. She also gets to lead Saturday's Granny Smith Festival parade. "I'm so excited to use this opportunity to give back to my community," she said.
By this stage you would have been lamenting this disastrous assignment.
It started out an quick and easy regurgitation to help a mate that only needed a few omissions and some unbalanced assertions and some of the cheaper of the available background paragraphs.
And now you were hearing this year's winner would reinvest her cash prize into a community initiative. It wasn't what you signed up for.
Where was the sinister, evil ingredient to be included in one line to top off your pre-written story?
disappointing that the Labor Party actively boycott this event when its intention is to uplift women
Divya Ahlawat was simply stating the facts - Liberal councillors did not vote to ban the event, nor did council - but Labor councillors have ensure a course of action which doesn't reflect the decision made by council.
And that's mainly to cover for the stuff up of a departed member of their dominant Left faction. Although he is attached to the hip with Mayor Laxale who has made unfortunate previous comments on social media.
It's amazing that you would have your male mates on one side partially geeing you up on social media to trick you into another story and then on the other hand, you've come along to the event - after pre-writing most of the story - only to hear the previous year's queen debunk the misinformation assembled by your mates.
And then, this year's winner's comments just didn't fit with the story you wanted to do (see further down).
This being the City of Ryde, political vendettas are never far from the surface.
That would have to include the vendetta that prompted the call to The Hasbeen, resulting in your misguided story drawing on incomplete facts and coverage dating back to 2014.
Mental note: This is the type of story that will be perfect for robot journalists when The Hasbeen boosts its editorial quality by replacing its newsroom with robots.
Mr Booth often uses his newspaper to rail against climate change
Oh good one - I can't believe you're only a work experience student - there's a bunch of people at the SMH who are highly-paid and you at least match them for mediocrity. Yes, the climate change mention should well and truly stir the juices of your readers and that's always preferable to the trend towards falling asleep mid-article. Do you think there should be a law against newspaper proprietors voicing their opinions because it never ever happens? (NOTE: And I know what you're thinking. Imagine having views and opinion that stray from a collective decision on what to believe - it would be such a hassle)
In the front row, an older lady was reading Summer's End by Danielle Steele.
That same woman attends the event every year and is known to bring along the SMH to read. Seems she's realised her choice had come down to two mostly-fictional items of content and chose to join the growing cohort of ex-readers. Sorry you had to find out this way.
On a positive note, this woman is clearly a candidate for one of the SMH's super duper 80 per cent off subscription deals.
You should go and personally save this reader so that you get a good mention from management at the upcoming staff retrenchment function.
For the uninitiated, Granny Smith was Maria Ann Smith, a resident of the area who in 1868 "accidentally" grew the first batch of green apples that now bear her name.
Yes, good thinking. Throw in a truthful fact or two. Impressive!
The annual festival, which takes place this Saturday, has grown to become one of the city's largest events, attracting about 100,000 people to the streets of Eastwood. Organisers say it is second only to the Royal Easter Show.
Oooh yeah, so big that if a self-serving politician didn't convince you to regurgitate this story (to divert attention from a historical failure) the best coverage it could have enjoyed in the SMH would have been a reference in one of your crossword puzzle! In the end Granny Smith got some great free publicity, and the narcissistic politician who made sure you (and your readers) missed half the story, would be happy you saved them from being reminded about another of their many failed campaigns.
Each year the winner is crowned with great fanfare at Eastwood Shopping Centre, which is owned by Yuhu Group, the company founded by billionaire property developer and political donor Huang Xiangmo.
A suggestive paragraph that may have had currency at the time you put together the story - but really, pretty much irrelevant.
With all this unnecessary detail - it's no wonder you never got round to the teeny weeny task of counterbalancing the grand crusade of George Simon to put an end to to the event, with the fact that it failed. Spectacularly!
And if you had just a bit more time, you probably would have been able to also include there was another similar attempt prior to his, from one of his factional colleagues, that was also punted by council.
But what this pageant lacks in size it makes up in spirit. For 32 years, young women of the Ryde shire have vied for the title of Granny Smith Queen. And despite the changing times - and some local councillors' attempts to shut the whole thing down - organisers persevere.
One day you too will make it to 32 - and all these mistakes as a work experience student will serve you well, by embarrassing you and reminding you not to get manipulated by sneaky pollie types. Even if they have offered you a cosy gig for which you don't really have the skills, using members money.
Labor councillors are suspicious about Mr Booth's pageant. In 2014, then councillor George Simon - now assistant general secretary of NSW Labor - called for the "archaic" event to be killed off.
This is a great example of the risks involved in using background paragraphs from incomplete coverage. George Simon will no doubt be over the moon that you've given him a plug, along with his courageous but failed efforts to kill off the event.
It's likely you found your re-used paragraph in the story previewing George Simon's courageous failure. Unfortunately, The Hasbeen was MIA when the motion was shot down in flames.
But your competitor - and also TWT competitor - News Ltd's (NDT) report on failed attempt to ban Queen Questl was there at the meeting in which the motion suffered a humiliating defeat.
Even a niche womens issues publication, Womens Agenda, noted George Simon was branded a wanker for his bungled efforts..
Nevermind, you're not expected to get everything right as a work experience student, but you'll be relieved to know someone in the former Fairfax - now Nine - publishing empire did.
Watch and learn how the pros like Peter Munro do it. In his 'Six Degrees' column he mentioned Simon was chastised for his fruitless cruisade by Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins.
That was a report, of course, before Simon ended up with egg on his face, as was the earlier one selectively regurgitated.
But surely you could have also regurgitated these John Booth pearlers from the same story:
Mr Booth said contestants were judged on responses to questions about local knowledge, ambition and involvement in the community: "Beauty doesn't come into it - but we don't penalise them for being beautiful either.
"They're trying to make it out as disparaging to women but it's politically correct rubbish. There's no swimsuit competition and most judges are women," Mr Booth said. "Two women's libbers [councillors] tried to [cut support for the contest] a few years ago but they got voted down 10-2."
And on Simon's spectacular failure - one of many:
"That nitwit?" Mr Booth said. "I'm thinking about mocking him up in a dress and Orphan Annie wig in our next edition. I haven't decided yet".
The following year he was cleared of giving false evidence to an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry.
This one's a double edged sword. You may think it's a no brainer to achieve a bit of smear, but by including it, you reveal that you're not aware of the shambolic inquiry it was attached to or the matters of public importance the SMH had failed to report when it all took place.
In 2015, he was awarded a "Matehood"
And another thing, your ability to assemble background paragraphs is on par with others back at The Hasbeen's office who have made the regurgitation of mediocre content their specialty.
At first blush
Work experience student from The Shrinking Morbid Hasbeen (SMH) kicks off with a crusty cliche. Journalists back at the office he's been supporting with coffee runs impressed they've been matched for mediocrity.
Just five finalists
It's understood there were six. Nevermind - people from The Hasbeen often demonstrate they're numerically challenged. That's in addition to the daily challenges they faced through lack of life experience.
- cosy gig
- background pars
- unhomogenised thought
- Hatchet job fail
- Different views
- SMH Subscription Sale
- ex-reader fiction
- The Hasbeen
- Favours for mates
- Granny Smith boosted by Queen Quest publicity
- work experience
- Labor Left
- Miss Eastwood
- SMH Crossword
- Divya Ahlawat
- rookie error
- double-edged sword
- Emma Watkins
- diversity of opinion
- No one told me
- Sprinkling of fact in feast of fiction
- Forgot to mention
- Granny Smith Queen
- background paragraphs
- Disastrous Assignment
- That was good - I should do work experience to become a journo too!
- missing facts
- Labor Party
- So much work so little time
- context fail
- members money
- Council resolution ignored again
- Ryde Council
- incomplete SMH coverage
- Truth v Political Spin
A former union boss jailed over receiving a coal exploration licence from his friend, former NSW Labor minister Ian Macdonald, was an "entrepreneur" who found a "willing buyer" in the disgraced politician, a court has heard.
This is a flawed proposition and both misleading and deceptive in relation to the subject matter, considering its prominence in a court media report of proceedings which largely centre on the propriety or otherwise of an approvals process.
Using a market analogy mischaracterises the process involved in seeking and gaining approval for a proposal based on an innovative occupational health and safety concept.
In this case, the Minister was the appropriate authority under the relevant NSW laws.
And while Mr Maitland could indeed be described as a "entrepreneur", the phrase "willing buyer" taken literally in the context of the process to which he was constrained, could contaminate the reader's perception of the process as transactional or necessitating exchange of funds a conventional buyer and seller relationship.
Based on evidence already tendered in open court, it's already known Mr Maitland sought both legal advice on the applicable process as well as guidance by officials and other representatives with whom he necessarily engaged.
But the concept of finding a "willing buyer", taken literally at it's most extreme, could suggest Mr Maitland was presented with multiple approvals processes and to ultimately reach his goal, engaged in a market force-style comparative assessment of the conditions attached to each of these processes to ultimately decide on which approvals process to pursue.
Plainly, this was not the case. Mr Maitland had sought advice on the process and proceeded accordingly.
The only exception that could exist in relation to the availability of alternative processes could be a situation silimilar to the handling of unsolicited proposals by former Premier Barry O'Farrell over casino licenses which were not constrained by any of the regular transparency-related requirements including community engagement, notification or competitive tender.
Again, this situation does not and could not apply to the process applicable to Mr Maitland's proposal.
The misleading concepts introduced from the outset in this article also represent an aggravating feature of the injustice to which Mr Maitland has been subjected.
To be found criminally culpable in a matter involving actions undertaken in an honest belief they were required in a process for which Mr Maitland both sought advice process and then at no stage was told anything that would suggest his understanding of the process was incorrect, contradicts fundamental principles of natural justice.