January 03, 2007 | Graham

Even the ABC titles are gun shy of Alan Jones

The ABC’s decision not to publish Jonestown seems more and more misguided each day. In November The Age was reporting it had sold 12,700 in its first week, almost as many as The Latham Diaries while The Australian had it still at 15 on the best seller lists at Christmas.
Why am I musing about this tonight? Well, it’s because of some peculiar titling on tonight’s ABC News. Early on we had sensational claims from Peter Foster “Australian Conman” that the last Fijian elections were rigged. Fair call, it’s true, and there’s not much risk he would sue anyway, although perhaps they could have called him “International Conman”.
Later in a story about Mark Phillipousis’ latest sporting injury, Alan Jones “Friend”. Not Alan Jones “Australian Broadcaster” or even “Broadcaster”, just “Friend”. Maybe they were worried they’d be accused of promoting a rival commercial product. Well, why not “Former Wallaby Coach”, or just “Former Sporting Coach”. “Friend” is just so anodyne and vanilla.
The general rule with titles is that they should elucidate, not obscure. Jones wasn’t being interviewed just because he was a friend! What’s got into dear old dottie Auntie? Maybe they think the book has made him so famous that he doesn’t need any introductions. A little like those business cards that say, James Smithers Esq. “Gentleman”.

Posted by Graham at 10:41 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Society

1 Comment

  1. You say that ‘”Friend” is just so anodyne and vanilla’. Having just read “Jonestown”, I’d say the word “Friend” carries a lot more luggage than you think. Nudge, nudge; wink, wink.

    Comment by Frank Golding — January 5, 2007 @ 8:34 am

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