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Manufactured quotes for newspaper articles


I despise those quotes you find in press releases (and then in sloppy newspaper reporting) that are attributed to someone in the organisation in question, but are mostly made up by the PR person using phrases found in the official documents.

A particularly awful one came in today from the Department of the Environment about the struggle to maintain the urban regeneration plans that have become less feasible since the private sector collapsed. The release informs us that Minister Finnernan said:

"The Council's proposed phased incremental approach to the regeneration project will afford the best opportunity for momentum of the regeneration process to be maintained and built upon. Development of this first phase will renew the residential viability of the estate and leave the project best placed to attract commercial interests and private investment and development into the area."

The Council has a new plan for these projects: an incremental approach. But not just incremental, but also phased. O, and not just phased and incremental, but, of course, it is as yet only a proposal - not an actual approach.

Not only is it obvious he said no such thing (unless he was forced to read it out at some dull press event, poor man), but it is also clear that the writer has given up even trying to make up quotes that sound like anything like they might have emanated from the mouth of a human being.

Not even seasoned politicians sound this 1984-ish, and only lazy press officers and even lazier journalists would suggest it.

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