I've written quite a few pieces highlighting journalistic nonsense. It really annoys me when people who are paid to write stuff for national or regional publications appear to be called to their editor and given the task of writing a little piece about beer, and get it so sadly wrong.
Sadly these people's interest in the subject doesn't amount to much and their research skills are far inferior to what one would expect from anybody who takes such a job seriously. It's not that I have any great desire to write on a grander scale myself; I know I have many shortcomings, but I'd like to think my pieces have very few factual inaccuracies (although it seems I made a mistake with the Caledonian/S&N issue).
In addition there are days when I don't have much to say so it gets things off my chest to give you all a laugh at the incompetencies of our writing bretheren. I'll continue to do this throughout next year, although I will understand it if it you think I'm wasting my time getting my heckles up.
Only today I've laughed (cried) at two articles I've found. The first is in one of our worst tabloid rags and talks about how strong beers are the name of the game at the moment. Two quotes are reproduced below; spot the silly errors.
"Supermarkets are now stocking strong overseas lagers such as 11% Kasteel Blonde, 10% La Trappe Quadrupel Strong Ale and 9% Chimay Blue."
"Other dynamite imported drinks include 8.7% Hoegaarden Grand Cru, 8% King Cobra and 7.5% Meantime India Pale Ale."
See what I mean? The second piece is from The York Press talking about that beer mecca Antwerpen. There's very little mention of beer - I guess it's just as well they didn't visit The Kulminator - but the one bit they have written: The local, amber-coloured Bolleke is a fine winter warmer is a really odd statement. I have never heard the 5% De Koninck described as a winter warmer, certainly when you can buy any sort of really strong beers in that fair city.
I'd love standards of journalism to get better in 2008, but I don't see it happening.