Sunday, 26 December 2010

Motorcycle accidents in the media: Part 25

If you cross your fingers and wish very, very hard this may be the last one for the year!

On December 15, the ABC gave us Motorcyclist charged over 260kph chase.

Not an accident report, but worth noting for the sheer stupidity. What is going through the mind of somebody who decides that running, which is a definite charge and likely to get considerably worse, is better than playing by the rules and leaving the option of appeal for a to-be-decided minor charge?

Also: What, exactly, are the Victorian guidelines on police chases? There has been a bit of a debate and revision going on in other states recently and I'm sure public safety advocates would have something to say about this story.

Also December 15, the ABC gave us Motorcyclist killed at Thornlands, which is interesting because the Courier Mail had Motorcyclist killed at Thornlands.

Oooh, spooky! Actually, the weirdest part here is how short the Mail's headline is.

The Mail's report has slightly more detail but worse editing ("his motorcycle and vehicle crashed at Thornlands"), but the ABC has attached a video from the night's news, which is the sort of thing you can do if you're a multimedia broadcaster and publisher.

Jumping ahead to December 22, there's Moped driver who injured child pleads guilty from the ABC.

The lead paragraph is clunky but the rest of the report is fair enough, if baffling. If he was running away from "a group of youths" at the time, it looks suspiciously as though he was riding his moped through the park when they took offence to him (and, well, that may have been perfectly understandable), so he was probably eligible for at least one more charge into the bargain.

Some more background would have really fleshed out this story.

The Courier Mail also has the report, in Moped rider Michael Andrew Bolitho blasted for hitting boy, 6, on Gold Coast and speeding off.

A definitive Courier Mail headline: Too long, too informative for a headline and contains a carefully selected, emotive, value-laden phrase.

This report has the background, including the claims he was panic-stricken and couldn't get to the road because his tormentors were in the way.

The article, in fact, does the neat trick of painting the accused as both cowardly, callous and quite possibly deviant and, at the same time, a victim of "youths". Talk about spoiled for righteously indignant choice.

And that is the complaint I have about the CM article. It almost buries the fate of the boy, and the legal process, under social judgements. On the other hand, the ABC article goes to the other length and suffers only from being too concise.

No comments:

Search This Blog