did you finish what you started?

August 14, 2009

According to the Guardian:  “The literacy level of young recruits at newspapers and magazines is becoming a major concern, a training watchdog has warned.”

Yes! I thought. I’m vindicated! My rants about bad prose, shocking punctuation and clumsy sub-editing have borne fruit! I settled happily in to read more about the findings. But I was flummoxed. I had to read the article three times to be sure, but no: the subject is never mentioned again. The whole rest of the piece is about the need to make sure both staffers and freelancers are skilled up to keep pace in a marketplace dominated by technological change.

This  is also true, of course – but it is not what the article told me it was going to be about.

This is exactly the kind of bad writing that makes it impossible to get anywhere. Why did they not follow through on their intro sentence?

Then I looked on Skillset’s website. I thought I might download the report and make my own mind up about what it says. But there are no publications posted up for the whole of 2009.

I did download one report, thinking it might conceivably be the one I was looking for, but no. It was Skillset’s research strategy. And I can see that Skillset does very interesting work indeed, monitoring skills and providing training resources across the whole spectrum of creative industry. This is vital work. But I just can’t help thinking they could do it even better without subjecting their stakeholders to sentences like this:

The importance of forecasting future skill needs is underlined in the Leitch Review Implementation Plan, and the drivers of change and implications for skills identified within the forecasting process should also in future form the basis for the analysis of environmental context underpinning Skillset’s strategic planning processes.

So, I’m sorry! I tried to bring you this piece of news, but it seems that both poor writing and lack of digital resource have prevented me.

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2 Responses to “did you finish what you started?”

  1. That’s pitiful. Someone ought to lock the people who write such things in small, well illuminated rooms with only a pen and paper for company.

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