Getting a Twitter pile on from the FT and BBC hacks – the Group Think on gender quote sourcing
By Tom Winnifrith | Monday 20 December 2021
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from ShareProphets). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
I am getting a bit of a Twitter pile on from hacks at the FT, the BBC, lecturers in media studies and Gabby “your favourite bisexual PR girl” for challenging their daft Group Think on who you should quote. It all started with Dave Lee (daveleeFT) of the FT tweeting:
The FT’s content management system does two nifty things: in-line fact checking with colour coding, and an auto tally of how many men v women have been quoted in a piece. I draft in Google Docs — is there any way to replicate those two features?
Good journalists go to the best sources they have for quotes, irrespective of gender, race etc but @FT will demand inferior sources to deliver gender balance. How does that make for good informative journalism?
Lee responded with
Good journalists know with a little thought and effort our work benefits greatly from a more diverse range of sources.
At that point the pile on of the liberal media group think club started with folks lining up to like Lee’s brave heroic battles for the femininist cause. My daughter is sick this morning and being a bit of a feminist myself I was the primary emergency carer. I looked after Jaya so the Mrs could pursue her career. I am so fecking right on.
Now back at my desk as Jaya seems to have perked up I responded with:
Good journalists get the best sources irrespective of gender etc, for readers crave the most informed comment. In the name of a forced diversity you may find yourself forced to use an inferior source. How does that help your dwindling readership?
And that is the point. If the 2 greatest experts in a field happen to be both blokes or both birds and article is better for cutting them not a mixed pairing including one weaker expert. The diversity that matters in an article should, perhaps, be in quoting experts who disagree, maybe one who goes along with the group think and one who is outside of it. And that has nothing to do with gender.
Perhaps I should end with a quote froma woman as I could not find a man who put it better so this article would get red flagged at the woke FT. It is from Ann Coulter:
“My hero President Trump seems like he would be perfectly happy with an all-male all-white-male cabinet, but also totally fine with a lesbian Inuit as his defense secretary. He insults women the exact same way he would a man. He doesn’t assume that pretty women are stupid or that ugly women are smart. So he actually is like some sort of platonic ideal of a non-sexist, non-racist boss. He just wants to get the job done.”
As a journalist, your job is to get the greatest experts to assist you with your article so that it imparts information to the reader. That the FT is setting other targets with support from the BBC and others is why it continues to have fewer and fewer readers. Following the Group Think may win it praise from the liberal media elites but its declining sales tell their own story.
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