Questions about Clare the bogan say a lot about eroded trust

For what it’s worth, I think Clare Werbeloff is, in all her bogan glory, exactly what she appeared to be.  

Despaite the intriguing questions raised by Justin Polites of Starcom MediaVest, I think Werbeloff’s brilliant deadpan commentary on how she witnessed a shooting in Kings Cross will turn out to be genuine.

But I think we are witnessing a legacy of the Naked / Witchery Man furore of earlier this year.

Whenever a news story emerges virally, cynical questions now end up being asked. The assumption, from journalists and even a proportion of the public is that somebody might be hoaxing them.

When Mumbrella broke the story of an intruder regularly breaking into The Marketing Store and stealing food overnight, much of the debate ended up being about whether it was a hoax on behalf of their cereal client. It ended up with Doug Chapman, boss of The Marketing Store, being quizzed by an exceptionally sceptical David Koch on Sunrise. It was true, by the way.

Then there was the Twitter meeting at the Hilton, which news.com.au’s Andrew Ramadge became convinced was a stunt for a mystery brand (worked out that it was indeed just a PR stunt for the Hilton yet, Andrew?).

And now there’s Clare the bogan.

I think the chances of her successfully being in the right place at the right time, then hoaxing the news crew, then it being picked up  by the media are pretty slim.

But it says everything about the trust the public now have in viral news that we’re even thinking about it, doesn’t it?

Tim Burrowes


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