News agencies provide a low cost way for media organisations to get up to date content from regions where they don’t have a presence of their own. While different organisations running the same copy means that no-one gets an exclusive it also means that no-one gets humiliated by completely missing a story. The down side to using wire copy is that it can sometimes lead to some really stupid things being published under your masthead, as we saw courtesy of AAP this week.
CIA unaware Gillard is PM
How on Earth did AAP manage to get such an embarrassing revelation from inside the CIA?
The short answer is, they didn’t. AAP, and the news organisations who ran this story, all decided that the frequency with which a public CIA website is updated accurately reflected the total knowledge of the organisation. That’s it. Australia’s page in the CIA World Factbook hasn’t been updated since May 27, therefore it still lists Kevin Rudd as the PM and Julia Gillard as his deputy.
CNN knew that Julia Gillard had become Prime Minister of Australia. MSNBC knew that Julia Gillard had become Prime Minister of Australia. Fox News knew that Julia Gillard had become Prime Minister of Australia. Barack Obama even gave her a phone call, so I’m fairly confident that the CIA were up to speed on the question of who was our Prime Minister.
The article was nothing more than click-bait and it’s depressing that our major news organisations thought that it was worth running on their sites.