Lazy Luddite Log

6.7.06

Elevators and Evictions

I got a letter published in the Herald-Sun yesterday. It has been several months since I got anything into the papers so I am rather chuffed. They did edit it more than usual so I will reproduce here both the published and the submitted forms of the letter.

Letter as published

People seem to have confused priorities.

Take your worrying report on falling safety standards in elevator function since compulsory inspections ended a decade ago ('Aging office lifts at risk' 3 July) as an example.

Nobody seems to have a thing to say about this disgrace, but everyone is writing about the latest Big Brother controversy.

In the case of Big Brother, we have the power to self-regulate by changing channels at will, and yet we want Channel 10 or the Government to do our work for us.

On the other hand, nobody seems to mind that we are at risk in lifts. Our fragile morality seems to be more important to us than our own life and limb.


Letter as submitted

We seem to have very confused priorities if the 'Your Say' pages are anything to go by. Yesterday (03/07/06) the Herald-Sun cover story was on the very concerning issue of the degrading safety standards in elevator function since compulsory government inspections ceased a decade ago. Today however everyone is writing about the latest Big Brother controversy and nobody has a thing to say about the disgrace of letting lift owners neglect their duty-of-care.

In the case of Big Brother, we as viewers, or as the parents of viewers, have the power to 'self-regulate' by changing channels at will, and yet we want Channel 10 or the government to do our work for us. On the other hand, nobody seems to mind that we are at risk in elevators, and our fragile morality seems to be more important to us than our own life and limb.


Did the changes made improve the letter in terms of brevity or clarity or relevance? I think the intent was preserved so if editing is the price to pay for publication then I am happy with that.

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4 Comments:

  • The spirit of the original letter was definitely left intact. Edited for brevity only, I think.

    Erin

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At 07 July, 2006  

  • I think that some of the ire was removed in the edit but still the message is pretty much there. It just bugged me that something that deserves government regulation is given short shrift while something that is fine left to itself is subject to calls for government intervention.

    By Blogger Daniel, At 12 July, 2006  

  • Whichever way it's put, the message is clear and far too true. I suspect that whoever edited it suffers from 'sound-bite-itis' - tiny paragraphs designed for a readership with the attention span of a ferret in a sugar-mill.

    It's not really 'dumbing down', exactly, but if I squint, I can see it as another reflection of the issue you raise - people are too easily distracted by things that are simple, clearly delineated and exciting rather than giving due attention to less sensational but important issues.

    By Blogger Jac, At 12 July, 2006  

  • Yay for me getting the attention of all them ferrets down at the sugar mill!

    By Blogger Daniel, At 17 July, 2006  

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