Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What do we want? MARMITE

Hello, internet friends!

Sorry for lack of blogging, have been alternately busy and lazy (mainly busy). Also writing every day for work means that often I come home and go "JUST WANNA WATCH THE TELLY" and then all of a sudden it is 11pm and all I've achieved is a war movie and a quick rearrange of my Smurf Village, although yesterday I did manage to label an immense amount of spice jars.

I'm sure you've missed hearing all of this scintillating information.

Work is going well - one of my favourite things about work is how, when we put a "light news" story on our facebook wall (for example, the weekly 'Cute Animal News' wrap on Fridays) we get floods of comments saying "Come on 3 News! This isn't news! Give us some news! How dare you call yourself a news website! WHERE IS MY NEWS?"

However, when we publish actual news, the hordes of people roaring "What do we want? NEWS! When do we want it? 6PM PLEASE OTHERWISE IT'S CONFUSING**" suddenly disappear and no-one reads the story. (We have a little program called Chartbeat which tells us how many people are on each page of the site at any time, and also invariably gets that Enrique Iglesias song in my head.)

The other day we had a story on a new law coming into force which makes knowing about child abuse and not reporting an offence which can get you up to 10 years in prison. News, yes? Yes, news. On the same day, breakfast food kingpin Sanitarium announced that due to a quake-damaged factory, the country was running out of Marmite*** and there would be no more stock until July.

Twitter was ablaze with the news. The Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald picked up the story. We had massive traffic to the website and an almost unprecedented number of Facebook comments. On the Marmite crisis.

Oh, people! You don't want news. You want Marmageddon.

Not pictured: Journalism

It's great from my point of view because I do quite a lot of light news and, as such, can be confident that people will ignore headlines like "Difficult year ahead for tourism industry" and "Kiwi dollar falls on Greece austerity news" in favour of "Muttonbirds not radioactive****".

For those of you who are concerned about my immense journalistic talents going to waste, never fear; yesterday I wrote stories about the early childhood education sector, the increase of identity fraud in New Zealand, some politics stuff, and the Commerce Commission (which, delightfully, refers to itself as the ComCom).

But none of those stories are as interesting as muttonbirds not being radioactive, and that is why I am a constant disappointment to our Facebook audience.


*And one internet enemy - whoever commented "this is a load of tripe" on previous post. Fair enough, but it's not polite to point it out.

**saw a t-shirt the other day that said, "What do we want? A cure for Tourettes! When do we want it? Cunt!"

***it is a breakfast spread

****The best thing about this headline is that it a) suggests that at some point someone was concerned about this and b) doesn't clarify whether it's the band or the bird. It's the bird, although I think one can safely assume the band is also not radioactive. Story: Adult muttonbirds migrate to the North Pacific. Last year when they got there they fed in the seas off the east coast of Japan, and due to fallout from the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant, ingested radioactive cesium isotopes. Then they came back to NZ and had baby muttonbirds, which people go and hunt, because they are delicious. (These people are referred to as 'muttonbirders' and they go 'muttonbirding', which is why "The Deer Hunter" was a terrible title for a movie.) Because of the concern, the Department of Conservation caught 30 pre-season muttonbirds, prepared them as if they were about to be eaten, and tested them for radioactivity. They were not radioactive. And that is what I do at work.


Stephen Stratford said...

Welcome back! I was starting to worry.

Phil said...

Love yer work ... we're all out in the heartland - gaghing for yer nek Blog

chris.dadness said...

Please prove you're not a robot. We all know Ally doesn't write blogs any more.

Rob's Blockhead Blog said...


The Marmageddon one, not the muttonbird one.

da said...

me too.

Michelle said...

Oh the fickle, fickle public.

Good to hear the muttonbirds aren't radioactive - I was losing sleep over that one...

Jo said...

But why is it called a muttonbird? Because it tastes like mutton? Because it preys on sheep? WHY??

Ness said...

Yay!!! Welcome back. I missed your personal blog so much. Also, OMG Marmageddon!!! So funny. I think I laughed and snorted a bit when I read that.


Juicebox said...

I'm so pleased about the non-radioactive muttonbirds!

People only do the "it's not news" thing when they're not interested in the 'light' item in question. Maybe they don't care about muttonbirds but OH MY GOD JUSTIN BIEBER IS REALLY A BOY.