I wrote recently of the survey by a PR company of the sources local journalists use for stories. Well a couple more items have caught me eye.
An item that appeared today on the JEP online that superficially looks as though some reporter has been out to doorstep the Environment Minister over an ongoing local issue - development of glasshouses. The wording seemed oddly familiar to me so I checked. Here's the printed piece, Minister envious of Guernsey planning policy and for comparison the Minister in the States Assembly 20th June answering a supplementary question from Deputy Russell Labey re Warwick Farm. https://statesassembly.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/291867/start_time/8103000
The odd thing here is the inclusion of the comment about Andium Homes wanting to build there. You might think reading the piece that the Minister is accepting Warwick Farm is one of the sites that might be built on. Not so . In the same half hour question time in the States there was a question from Montford Tadier https://statesassembly.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/291867/start_time/8661000 That response seems pretty definitive. There is no potential for housing at Warwick Farm in the short term. How can a reporter pay enough attention to one answer to quote almost verbatim, and yet include something that is flatly rebuffed in the same question time? Laziness, ineptitude or calculated political slanting, I don't know - make up your own mind.
As an aside I would point out the JEP should be aware of at least one of the alternative plans for Warwick Farm, consistent with the current green zoning of the site. I know because the background paper to one of the expressions of interest in the lease was e-mailed to them by an over zealous supporter of the plan.
Let me highlight another States issue. It is of course all public information. It is on record in Hansard there's nothing here not readily available to any reporter. You might recall the debate on the new hospital funding was delayed 4 times. 18th April the delay was called for by the Treasury Minister to give members time to analyse the little over 100 pages of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Panel report . A move was made by others to delay the debate by even more than the two weeks agreed.
Odd then that the same States members who couldn't analyse a 111 page report in April in a day opr two are now confident enough to read digest and debate in detail a probably (hopefully) much larger report of the Committee of Inquiry in to abuse in less than 3 days. It just does not stack up.
What does stack up to my mind is the stage management of the publication of the report. Only accredited press (no interested parties?) will be at the launch on the 3rd. As I read the information there will be no opportunity of question and the lock in session will only be revealing the executive summary at that stage. In effect the immediate press coverage will be what the chair and panel are telling the press is the important stuff, the 'party line'. and of course that will dominate the public information available just ahead of the States debate.
The ancient Chinese general Sun Tsu wrote
All warfare is based on deception.
Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting.
The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.
Every battle is won before it is ever fought.
There is nothing quite as important in practicing deception than to have a compliant unquestioning fourth estate.