Apparently editors nurture their journalists by telling them it’s okay to get stuff wrong

Good to see that social media stormtrooper Laurel Papworth was doing her bit at the Media 140 conference in Sydney to improve the audience’s understanding of how newsrooms work.  

“I do wonder if journalists are a little bit cossetted, by having an editor that has a loving, guiding hand over their work, saying to them ‘Never mind if you get something wrong’. Because as bloggers, I know that my audience is pretty tough on me.”

Well done, Laurel, that’s an uncanny reflection of the typical newspaper morning conference. Everyone knows how nurturing editors generally are, expecially of journos who make mistakes. Well researched, old bean.


  1. Andrew Ramadge
    6 Nov 09
    5:30 pm

  2. Groan.

  3. Captain Fun
    6 Nov 09
    5:46 pm

  4. Thanks for reminding me Laurel, I need to get back and organise the care bears for Monday’s news meeting.

  5. Laurel Papworth
    6 Nov 09
    5:47 pm

  6. Oh that was my attempt at humour – but journos came up afterwards with much love for their editors.

    Impressed that you once again caught the big picture stuff Mumbles. Let’s see: someone unfollowed me on twitter. Blogged? CHECK. Someone wore my name tag at a conference. Blogged? CHECK. I fell out of the Power150 for 5 minutes while I changed my blog over. Blogged? CHECK. I made a joke at a conference that fell the teeniest weensiest bit flat. Blogged? CHECK.

    Keep up the good work old bean – it keeps the nutters off our blogs and on yours.

  7. Larry
    6 Nov 09
    6:34 pm

  8. rivetting.

    if a laurel papworth speaks at a conference, but no one is listening, does she make a sound?

  9. Nice Editor
    7 Nov 09
    9:16 am

  10. There’s nothing more entertaining that people who have never worked in journalism commentating on how journalism should work

  11. Kate B
    8 Nov 09
    12:43 pm

  12. Thanks for picking up and running with this one Tim. I too heard this little pearl of wisdom from Laurel at Media140 and nearly choked on my iphone.

    I feel very sad that she’s never enjoyed that special kind of ‘love’ that an overworked, cranky deadline bound Editor likes to dish out to their journos… especially when we make a mistake. Hilarious indeed.

  13. Bill Posters
    8 Nov 09
    6:42 pm

  14. Laurel, I think the point is coming through loud and clear.

    Namely, that you haven’t the faintest what you’re talking about.

  15. mm
    9 Nov 09
    8:23 am

  16. Is she constipated or something? Big picture? There was no picture in that speech just a few poorly placed brush strokes.

  17. ron.r
    9 Nov 09
    3:52 pm

  18. “It’s okay to stuff up”……..bloody hell, I have never met an editor who didn’t have a bowel collapse over a mistake in his/her publication. And, someone was going to pay for it!!!

  19. ArtScience
    9 Nov 09
    9:02 pm

  20. As an ex newspaper hack I’m really surprised that Laurel Papworth didn’t get laughed off stage, dragged back on and laughed off again.

    Does she actually have any real life experience – in a newspaper, as a marketer, client side or agency?

    Those that can do, those that can’t teach, and those that can’t teach, based on this clip, well that’s Laurel Papworths specialty.

  21. Laurel Papworth
    9 Nov 09
    10:01 pm

  22. “Does she actually have any real life experience – in a newspaper, as a marketer, client side or agency?”
    I based my humorous comment on work I did at both News (in Adelaide) and Fairfax, in the 1980s and 1990s, particularly Fairfax editors, bless ’em. Also I have worked a handful of agencies since 1993 and my client list can be seen at including working on a project that went on to win an Emmy award in interactive/social media.

    “Those that can do, those that can’t teach, and those that can’t teach…”
    I teach at the University of Sydney (since 2005) and Australian Film TV Radio School (1 year) on social media. I have run workshops for many industry organisations in Australia and Asia as well as private workshops for global companies. You can find the latest course information on my site.

    I would’ve thought research would be a function of a newspaper hack, even an ex one? Though if you only get your information from @Mumbrella …
    Thank you for asking,

    Laurel @SilkCharm
    PS Mumbles, friends of mine are commenting and it’s not being approved. Deliberate or in your spam folder?

  23. Jack
    9 Nov 09
    10:57 pm

  24. Hey Laurel,now that you’ve latched onto Twitter as your gravy train, are you still defending Second Life and pretending it didn’t basically die and turn out to be a huge waste of time, effort and expense for ABC, Dell, Telstra et al, as you once famously tried to do with SMH?

  25. Laurel Papworth
    9 Nov 09
    11:19 pm

  26. I’d be unlikely to say that Second Life was dying when in fact it has grown enormously and today has the most active members that it has ever had. Don’t believe everything you read in the Press about virtual worlds being niche – they have huge investments this year and 60 movies are currently in production with major studios based on games and virtual worlds.
    Not sure which article in the SMH – sounds more like the presentation I gave at PANPA (the conference for media proprietors in SE Asia/Australia/NZ).

  27. Jen Bishop
    9 Nov 09
    11:33 pm

  28. Can’t help but think this is a particularly bitchy backlash over nothing, even for this site!

  29. Gary Hayes
    10 Nov 09
    9:36 am

  30. Agreed Jen. I am seriously beginning to pity Tim that, like a school ground bully, he has to pick on Laurel this way. I suspect it’s because she has come to represent the social media ‘camp’ and is an easy target for him. His fascination also borders on stalking in how he picks up on minutiae. But regardless it explains in the end why Laurel and other Australian media sites who understand Social Media, are much higher than Mumbrella in the charts like the AdAge Power 150 marketing and media – they engage with real people and not those role playing inside corporate entities.

  31. aplet
    10 Nov 09
    7:47 pm

  32. Thanks for your bio @Laurel – looks like some great real world experience 10-20 years ago.

  33. aplet
    13 Nov 09
    7:01 am

  34. As Laurel’s editor @Gary, did you tell her that its OK for her to get her media140 content wrong?

  35. Anony
    13 Nov 09
    7:28 am

  36. Aplet he is also her boyfriend, which is why he defends her every where he goes. Must be a full time job these days

  37. Sarah
    18 Nov 09
    1:59 pm

  38. Mumbrella takes a fresh angle on reporting the media and marketing news, but It makes me sick to read the comments by a smarmy, arrogant, inner clique of people picking on others in the industry.

    It’s unprofessional and there doesn’t appear to be any code of conduct behind it – it’s simply open slather.

    Sure, let’s be witty and smart, incisive and critical. Still, is there really a need to turn on the malicious personal commentary? Methinks it says more about the person commenting than it does of the person you throw stones at.


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