Dr Mumbo

Quiz: Which newspaper wants you to guess how many Aussies died on MH17, what sport Phil Hughes was playing when he died and how many hostages were taken in Martin Place?

Sometimes the media suffers from the perception that it is heartless in how it covers tragedy.

the west facebook quizSo well done to The West Australian newspaper for navigating that risky territory in its end of year challenge, in which it invited readers to take part in a sponsored online “University Learning” quiz on the Murdoch University branded page.

There was a hint of what’s to come in the promotion from The West’s Facebook page: “2014 was a pretty big year for news, most of it bad. Were you paying attention?”

And it certainly was bad news, with readers invited to guess all sorts of fun facts and figures.

After all, what could possibly be seen as insensitive in asking readers to guess how many hostages were taken in the Martin Place siege?

martin place west quiz

But of course, handled with subtlety, any subject is up for grabs. Even how many Australians died in an aviation disaster.

mh17 west quiz

Or guessing which sport Phillip Hughes was playing when he died?

hughes cricket

Imagine how pleased the reader will feel when they get this message.

philip hughes west quiz correct

And if you’re doing a fun news quiz, why not get into the big tragedies, like Ebola?

ebola quiz west

Whodathunk it was only 8,000, eh?

And while we’re in Africa, how about kidnapped Nigerian school children?

nigerian schoolgirls the west

But that’s not trying. How about combining school children with deaths? That would be better.

ferry children west quiz korea

Or for the big numbers, how about guessing how many people died in Israel’s July campaign against Palestine?

west quiz dead palestinians

And, for a bit of light relief, just the sad fate of a giraffe…

giraffe lions west quiz

Hopefully Murdoch University will be able to attract several well adjusted psychopaths onto its courses as a result of this quiz.

murdoch quiz west

Dr Mumbo asked The West and Murdoch University about the promotion this morning. Murdoch University says it had nothing to do with the creation of the quiz.

To give the newspaper credit, within a couple of hours of Mumbrella asking about the quiz, The West took it down. Acting editor Michael Beach tells Mumbrella: “We have had no complaints but some of the questions should not have been included in the quiz. The quiz has been removed from our website.”

2.30pm update: Murdoch University offers the following statement: 

“Murdoch University is currently in market with its “University Offers” campaign.

“As part of this campaign Murdoch University has engaged a media agency to recommend marketing channel plans and media buys to communicate with its target audiences. Within this plan The West Australian was identified as a website that reaches our key target audiences and we booked the display media buy of The West Australian’s education portal. As part of this Murdoch University was able to purchase the creative skin surrounding the portal.

“This advertising is the extent of Murdoch University’s contribution to The West Australian’s education portal. Murdoch is not affiliated with the editorial content on The West’s website. All articles, quizzes, widgets, etc. that sit within the portal are developed and published by The West’s journalists and editors.

“Although Murdoch has not received any complaints about The West portal advertising, Murdoch, through its media agency will monitor whether The West Australian receives complaints about the quiz and will consider its options.”


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