Monday, July 21, 2008

Patient A Good Reporter Does Not Make

Well, I haven't gotten a direct answer from Rosie Swash but there is a new article on the Okereke-Lydon fight--this time with reporter Helen Pidd sharing authorship--up at the Guardian that merged the two previously disparate articles into one coherent whole. Pitchfork has a column on the fight by Amy Phillips that lists the Guardian as the first to report on the fight. And a quick Google News search reveals a litany of articles from various sites reporting slight varations of the same story; the general consensus being Lydon is a bigoted asshole while Okereke was being nothing more than an eager fan talking to one of his influences.
As I said before, I'm not sitting in judgement, either on the fight or the two conflicting articles. That said, Okereke's reported shyness with the media and Lydon's famous temper make Lydon's defense, and indeed Lydon himself, seem small and weak. Okereke, on the other hand, comes off as well-spoken and disciplined in his released statement. As it stands, Okereke appears as the better man while Lydon has a cloud of racism hanging around him. That is not the kind of image one wants to project, even if it turns out unfounded.
Meanwhile, the addition of a second and general (or non-specific if you will) reporter to the article indirectly confirms my suspicion that the two articles were written in haste and not properly merged as new information came in. I suppose I could say something mean about Ms. Swash's reporting but I think she did what she could with the facts at hand. More importantly, she got the story out in the public eye first and that deserves some praise considering the number of bloggers and reporters constantly digging for new information. So while I would have to deduct points for incomplete reporting, her scooping of the story outweighes the confusion of the two articles.