Time and money
No thanks

The wrong guy

How can it be that newspapers so often get the basic facts of a story wrong? 

A couple of weeks ago, computer journalist Guy Kewney was asked to appear on BBC News 24 (er, it's a 24 hour news channel from the BBC).  Unfortunately someone else appeared on screen instead, and newspapers reported that the other guy was a cabbie (taxi driver) waiting in reception with a sign saying "Guy Kewney". 

Sounds plausible?  Well, no, not really.  First of all, the only people who carry signs saying "White City Cabs - Guy Kewney" are obviously taxi drivers, and not IT experts.  Secondly, the only place taxi drivers need to carry a sign is when picking people up at an airport - in an office they just have tell the receptionist who they are waiting for. So all this is what we are left with is the assumption that a black guy who spoke like that was a taxi driver, and some nonsense that was manufactured to make it sound as if it was true.   

In fact, the other guy was actually Guy Goma, and contrary to the journalist's assumptions he was actually at the BBC for an interview for a job in IT.  It turned out to be a different sort of interview...

In the circumstances, he performed admirably, recovering well after the obvious shock of being introduced as "Guy Kewney", and waffled away like a pro when asked about the judgement in Apple vs. Apple.  Phil has a link to the video here.

The other amusing part of this was Guy Kewney's rather sniffy account of the episode on his blog.   


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Actually, in the US (and presumably the UK), limo drivers and taxi drivers do line up at offices holding up signs with peoples' names. This especially happens at banks for those working after hours.


Also, you can be quite sure that journalists got their preliminary information not from the source, but from YouTube, on the internet. Because journos like to sit around in the office and not do much on the scene work.

In fact, on the ATV broadcast two days after it aired on the BBC, and two days after You Tube already had it online, the anchor for ATV announced the clip by saying the guy's name was Guy Kewney, a cabbie in London. And then in his own report, which he had filed earlier, the anchor's voice over says he was there was a IT professional applying for the job. So, what happened there? Did the anchor just see the clip prior to the broadcast and use some other information in his file? Or, was he putting the cabbie part in htere because he didn't know if his report was correct? I was confused. And I almost called up ATV to ask them, but then I thought, why bother?

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