Saturday, 31 January 2009

They won't be happy - up to the 'quality mark'?

There's a story in today's Mail under Matthew Drake's byline that typifies everything that's gone wrong with this old girl of Fleet Street.

The whole story is about the dropping of the 'Church of England creed'. Now Cramner may correct me, but I've never heard of such a thing. It took a complete reading of the piece to work out that the author was writing about the Nicene Creed, a universal Christian affirmation of belief that's been at the core of Christian worship since 325.

That the author appears not to have heard of this could have been corrected by the subs quietly inserting a para about the Council of Nicaea. But they don't seem to have heard of it either.

The piece degenerates into farce as it goes on to say
Former army officer Patrick Mercer, who went on to become the Bishop of Exeter, last night led calls for the Creed to be returned.
Mr Mercer is indeed a capable man with a lengthy CV, but I was unaware that the Bishopric of Exeter was amongst his accomplishments. It wasn't, of course. It was his father, Eric Mercer, who held that ecclesiastical office. Perhaps this is what Matthew Drake wrote, and the subs just butchered it. Who knows.

The NUJ supports an idea launched in 2007 by the chairman of the PCC for pieces written by professional journalists that appear online to carry a digital 'quality mark'. He said ' there is a crying need to be able to distinguish between what is rubbish and what is quality, between what is fantasy and what reliable.'

I'm starting to agree. But I'm not sure the Mail would qualify these days.


anon said...

That made me laugh so much I felt I had to leave a comment noting my appreciation!

Jock Coats said...

Incidentally, on the substance of the story, I noticed that at my mother's Anglican church on nthe Wirral at Christmas they used some completely unfamiliar "Christmas Creed".

Since the service sheets did not appear to be home made by the parish concerned, one presumes this aberration had the "imprimatur" (if such a thing exists in these protestant places) of someone high up.

My ghast was truly flabbered, I can tell you!