The Guardian‘s Perth reporting shows laziness

I was appalled to read an article in today’s The Guardian about a shark attack – and not just to note the awful tragedy ..

Growing up living on the Swan River, we did, from time to time, see sharks – one noted with dread that dorsal that stayed steady above the water, and not coming and going as it was with the fun-loving dolphins. But I have no memory at all of hearing that anyone had been killed, or even wounded, by a shark in the river.

So the photo in the article AND the text are shameful, indicating a total lack of knowledge regarding Perth’s layout and an unwillingness to simply check facts.

Check the locations of North Fremantle and The Guardian’s photo !

North Freo was known as dangerous for sharks, as it’s so close to the Indian Ocean’s exit point for the Swan River: why the young women were riding jetskis there is fairly questionable.

Be that as it may, I did a measurement of the distance between it and the Perth foreshore, finding it to be nineteen kilometres, allowing for the Point Walter spit in Freshwater Bay.

19km is an irresponsible distance for a respectable newspaper to raise terror about the likelihood of sharks, imnsho ..


The same newspaper edition includes this super short article by one of my heroine writers, the wonderful Helen Garner.

Same age (almost – she’s half a year or so older ‘n me) and same search: what is happiness ? I wrote a poem on the subject in 1970: she wrote this article. I’m a total failure at most everything, and she’s a roaring success. See ? – we’re soulmates. [grin]

13 thoughts on “The Guardian‘s Perth reporting shows laziness

  1. Oh wow that’s pretty poor.

    But Garner is not … love that piece. Accords with my thinking on the matter. We should not be setting up young people for “happiness” but for moments of lightness, joy and a general sense of well-being.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know little of sharks in the water, M-R, since I live only near fresh water and my fear lies with leeches attaching themselves to me and getting too close to the stingers of a bullhead. Anyhow, it’s never a good thing when research is poorly done in reporting, especially when there are people like you who have firsthand knowledge of the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leeches ! – AAArrghh !! Disgusting things ..
      Your point is 100% spot-on, M-J me love: all reporters ought be ever aware that their ‘facts’ are going to be under someone’s microscope. Humph !, she said scornfully .. [grin]

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Unless The Guardian has offices in Oz, I’d cut them a bit of slack. I’ve always thought them highly trustworthy, as did my parents before me. But living on America’s Great Plains didn’t teach us anything about sharks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s the Australian edition I read, Susan – and to which I subscribe. Hence my outrage: I am so much a fan that their local (i.e., Oz east coast) reporters being so lazy is simply NOT ON !! And besides, everyone here knows that West Australians, even those who’ve lived in Other Parts for yonks, are very defensive ! [grin]


  5. I wasn’t familiar with Helen Garner, M-R, but I loved this essay. I think her decision to look for and accept “random stabs of extreme interestingness” instead of searching for an ill-defined happiness is not just a pragmatic approach, but to my mind, brilliant!

    When sharks attack on our coast, which is rare but does happen, the press goes all in. I think the lazy reporting is probably a bigger problem than most of us catch, but you had the knowledge of the geography to catch them at it. I love your ability to catch them in the act!

    Liked by 1 person

    • She’s a real writing genius, imo, Deb ! – her ‘specialty’ became writing about real and VERY contentious issues – ‘The First Stone’ and ‘Joe Cinque’s Consolation’, e.g. But before those she wrote several novels, most of which I’ve also read. I really love her style !
      You’re right about how the press love having shark attacks to write about; and it made me angry that particular story appeared to be telling people that Perth city is liable to them. It was the ignorance that riled me, mostly ..


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