Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Newbury Weekly Cant

I was fascinated to read on the Newbury Weekly News' website that the editor says that "The newspaper has expressed no views about Trinity School's record".

Absolutely fascinating.

So saying that the school needed "rescuing" in a big Page 1 headline is not expressing a view, is it?

Saying on the website headline that the school is "troubled" and that it needs to be 'saved' isn't expressing a view is it?

Fair enough. Publishing a front page article which was factually wrong (in saying that "fewer than 30 per cent of pupils achieved five A* to C grades in GCSEs last year", when in fact the correct figure is 43 per cent - 43.3 per cent higher than stated) may not be expressing a view but it suggests carelessness with the facts, motivated by the motive to sell newspapers, rather than properly representing an excellent local school. That is, a school which is on course to approach 50% A* to C GCSE grades including Maths and English next year, has a very strong staff and management team, has moved forward in leaps and bounds under headteacher Debbie Forster and which has demonstrated exemplary handling of individual students' needs.

So, of course the Newbury Weekly News has not expressed views about Trinity School.

They have just simply thought of every bad thing they could say about the school on their front page, without bothering to print a single good thing about the school alongside.

There's a name for their behaviour and subsequent "no view expressed" pleading.

Some might call it "cant".

I would call it "Bovine Scatology".

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