I hope you’re sitting down for this but the
fact cannot be ignored: The Age
newspaper might not be Melbourne’s best source for breaking sports results.
A Crikey reader took the broadsheet to task
last week when Age sport had failed
to mention the Angelo Lekkas-stroke story on the Thursday and then failed to
record the result of the Hewitt-Chela match in Friday’s paper (possibly because
The Age couldn’t bring itself to
break the bad news to its readers, that Hewitt had lost).
As the reader pointed out in his
correspondence to The Age, it was a
bit cute for the paper to carry a triumphant line: “The newspaper for the
Open,” when it couldn’t manage to print the results of evening matches.
But the same reader really threatened to
send his Corn Flakes flying when he opened Saturday’s Age. As he put it: “Today I pay $1.40 in
Melbourne for a Herald Sun that gives
me the final score in the one-day cricket and $2 for an Age with a scorecard 80 runs short of South Africa’s final tally
(106-3 v 186). Short changed again.”
The really interesting part is the response
the reader received from The Age
Reader Services. The Hewitt-Chela result was a grave miss, Reader Services
admitted, caused by a software meltdown at the paper’s state-of-the-art
Tullamarine print press. (Presumably the same problem that forced the Saturday
Age to carry an apology and saw sections jammed together and regular
departments missing. Must have been one Hell of a reboot.)
And the Lekkas stroke/compensation yarn?
Reader Services wrote:
“I spoke to one of the
sport department’s writers about the missing stories and was told that the
story about Angelo Lekkas stroke/compensation was not run on Thursday by The
Age because they didn’t have all the facts. The story run by the Herald Sun on
Thursday was a beat-up and didn’t have all the information. The Age has run a
more accurate story in today’s (Friday) Age.”
While we’re on Lekkas,
another Crikey reader has suggested a potential new target for compensation
claims by the Hawk. Rob Colonnello recalled the unique pre-season training
regime Lekkas had undergone a few months before his stroke, training with
Chinese Shaolin monks.