One of the major frustrations about the UK mainstream media’s coverage of EU affairs is that even if an article is eventually corrected on a newspaper’s website, or a correction appears in the printed press, the damage is already done – when it comes to the European Union it’s all too often write incorrectly first, and then maybe think later. So if you’re someone like me who wants the British population to understand the EU better, what should you do?
Inadvertently I’ve managed to stumble upon half an answer. On Tuesday this week I was hopping mad about an article on the Daily Mail’s website with a heading stating that the EU was responsible for a court case banning crucifixes in Italian schools. In my fit of anger I wrote that the journalist who penned the article – Nick Pisa – was a f**kwit and a thicko. As people have pointed out in the comments, and indeed as I too know, subeditors are responsible for the headlines, not the journalists themselves. But the article appeared in his name, in a newspaper that regularly twists facts about the EU to suit its ends, so I reckoned it was fair game.
By reacting in such a forceful manner I ended up doing to Nick Pisa what the Daily Mail always does about the European Union – I got the attack in first, and Google has handled the rest. Now, at the time of writing, my blog entry branding Pisa a f**kwit is ranked 3rd in Google when you search for his name. That’s not really especially pleasant if you’re Nick Pisa.
So the simple message is this: if you’re frustrated by the rubbish nature of UK newspaper reporting, on whatever issue, get yourself a blog, get yourself a Twitter account, design your blog to be Google friendly, and post quick responses using the correct keywords… and Google will handle the rest.
[UPDATE – 23h00 CET, 8.11.09]
Now it’s gone even further – I’m 2nd in Google when searching for ‘f**kwit’. Not sure I want my blog to have that accolade, but it’s quite amusing.