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St Helena Online

The St Helena report and the gap in media

File’s a bitch. And then penguins fly.

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On days when no one’s emailing you, just be grateful you’re not the editor of the Penguin News. Lisa Watson has been getting lots of messages in recent weeks, mostly from strangers in Argentina:

‘Mainly I am referred to as a prostitute, liar, thief and pirate, other words I really wouldn’t like to mention,’ she told The Guardian in London.

That was before someone on her staff uploaded a picture of the Argentinian president on the website of Penguin News – the Falkland Islands’ newspaper.

There was nothing offensive in the text that went with it, you understand. But online pictures have a behind-the-scenes ‘file name’ that isn’t intended for anyone to see, and when people downloaded the picture of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, they found the file name was ‘bitch’.

The file was removed from the site, but the media got hold of the story and it took off: the Penguin was flying. And soon, so were the insults.

A search for “Penguin News” and “bitch” on Google News yielded 1,484 stories, and rising. Plus 151 in an alphabet that might be Greek.

There were also pictures of the offended president, and one of a penguin. Was someone having another dig, you ask?

Actually, no: this particular picture was from a story in Louisville, in America, under the headline:

Paula the Penguin Poops on Kentucky State Senate Floor [News]

No comment – none needed.

Twitter users are encouraged to follow @lisafalklands. This might also be a good week to subscribe to the online edition of Penguin News. As Lisa’s Twitter page says, ‘It’s not just news about penguins.’

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