NSW Auditor-General highlights false greyhound racing coverage

Nathan Absalom Roar Guru

By Nathan Absalom, Nathan Absalom is a Roar Guru

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    Last week the NSW Auditor-General published a scathing report into the ill-fated advertising campaign to ban greyhound racing.

    In the criticisms of the campaign, the auditor-general highlighted that the campaign contained inaccurate statements, including the specific claim that the average lifespan of a greyhound was 1.5 years.

    “The department, using a method that refers to various sections of the Commissioner report, calculated the average lifespan as 0.74 years. We found a mistake in the department’s calculation. Correcting this mistake shows an average lifespan of 3.7 years,” the Auditor-General said.

    If you follow the articles here on The Roar, you would have been aware of this, as I wrote about it more than a year ago.

    “The average lifespan is simply an average of those numbers, and it is most certainly not 0.74 years, nor is it 1.5,” I wrote.

    “Think about it, how the hell can the average of a set of numbers be lower than the lowest number in the sequence? It can’t. The average of these numbers is 3.7, a maths puzzle I expect high school students to get right.”

    My article had both the same broad criticisms as the NSW Auditor-General and, more importantly, precisely the same specific criticism of the accuracy of the advertisements.

    However, if you were following other media organisations you may well have seen the advertisements but never realised that the information contained in them was flat out wrong.

    And that’s really the interesting question. Here at The Roar, contributors write articles with their opinions on sports.

    Surely it is ridiculous that the NSW Auditor-General is vindicating the articles written by random members of the public, when it should be vindicating the work of journalists instead?

    Greyhound racing

    (Rainer Hungershausen / Flickr)

    It’s not like there wasn’t the public interest, either. The issue was a very hot topic at the time, and the public hate being lectured by governments, and hate it even more when they make things up.

    In this case we should also be somewhat critical of parts of our mainstream media. Well-informed sources that had complained about the administration of Greyhound Racing NSW for years were suddenly given the cold shoulder when they had the temerity to tell the same journalists that the state government was lying.

    They cared not whether the information was true or false, only whether it aligned with their world view. They created a loop of ignorance where the state government and journalists kept agreeing with whatever nonsensical claim was being made by the other.

    After all, advertising gurus will tell you that people find numbers persuasive, so when you have a barrow to push who cares if those numbers are true or false?

    It was this atmosphere that created the conditions for the debacle that was the advertising campaign.

    And that’s when websites like this are at their best, when people get so fed up with the press for failing to properly inform people that they actively find ways to get accurate information to the public sphere.

    So perhaps when you read articles from contributors, you might find the information they contain to be far less inferior to that in the mainstream press than you would normally presume.

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • November 10th 2017 @ 7:47pm
      Mike from tari said | November 10th 2017 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

      i don’t know how to express this action by the NSW Govt. but to me it bordered on communism, it showed complete disregard for the electors of NSW, unfortunately our politicians of today don’t listen to the majority, they listen to the minority, they very nearly destroyed the lives of many thousands of people without any consultation with the people affected.

    • November 10th 2017 @ 9:31pm
      Darren said | November 10th 2017 @ 9:31pm | ! Report

      The anti-lefties were nothing more than used as the vehicle to grab prime real estate in Wentworth Park Greyhound Complex in Glebe. The greyhound racing industry have been holding out for years to be proportionately compensated to vacate Wentworth Park to no avail.

      Not to mention the 2015 Roy Morgan survey showing the rise and rise of greyhound racing popularity to the key 18-35yo demographic. Something thoroughbred racing can’t compete with…they the thoroughbreds are a dying betting medium and have fast become a sideshow festival no matter how much propaganda they perpetuate!

      There in lies the problem – the general public need to be properly educated on the real truth behind what really was going on and the continued strangling of an industry that has already reformed like no other industry…especially in comparison to the thoroughbred racing industry!

      Thoroughbred racing’s biggest threat isn’t sports betting…it’s greyhound racing!

      • November 11th 2017 @ 5:14pm
        Richard said | November 11th 2017 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

        My thoughts exactly! Thoroughbred and harness racing can never have punter appeal like greyhound racing!

    • November 11th 2017 @ 5:08pm
      Richard said | November 11th 2017 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

      The government owes the people an apology. They also need to correct their misleading statements, ensuring everybody is aware of the lies they created. And be truthful about the origin of the whole debacle.

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