Spilling the beans on badgers

I went to a media briefing at the Science and Media Centre in London on Monday, but I wasn’t allowed to tell you about because it was under embargo (which means I would’ve been chased by angry scientists with clip boards had I spilled the beans).

Anyway, the boffins had called us there to talk about their latest study on whether culling badgers is any good for cutting TB in cattle. There were journalists there from the specialist press (i.e. me) as well as hacks from the nationals, including the Times, the Guardian and the D*ily M*il.

I have a pretty good grasp of the subject, but it was obvious that I was one of the few journalists in the room who had ever written an agricultural story, let alone one about cows and TB. So today when the stories were published I was intrigued about how much the reporters had really grasped, or how differently the story would be reported.

The M*il proved me wrong by not writing a story about immigrant, single-parent badger families being responsible for spreading TB and for the death of Princess Diana (in fact, they proved me completely wrong by not covering the story at all online).

The biggest surprise was the Guarniad, who decided to lead with the headline that badger culling doesn’t stop the spread of TB.

I wouldn’t like to brag about whose article is right or wrong, but here’s my version. Not a single-parent badger in sight or anything.

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1 Response to “Spilling the beans on badgers”

  1. Sissy

    It’s the Express who would have blamed badgers for causing Princess Diana’s death.
    The D*ily M*il couldn’t report that badgers are responsible for spreading TB, they would probably blame cows’ early, unnatural death on them being homosexual.