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AllanW's Avatar Jump to comment 18 by AllanW

Am I alone in thinking this article in both style and substance is poorly written? I'm sure Tom Paulson has had some journalistic training and has acquired some experience or he wouldn't be published in the newspaper but from the start this article reads like the English homework assignment of an average eleven-year-old schoolboy.

Is the title meant to be ironic? If not, then Mr Paulson starts his piece off with the old canard that 'Atheism is as much a belief as religion'. Certainly some of the comments attached to the original article reflect this tunnel vision and complete misunderstanding so others have made the same connection. Is this evidence of Mr Paulson's personal sympathies or just sloppy journalism? If the title was meant to be ironic then the author seriously misjudges the breadth and scale of his readership as the effect is predicated upon the reader knowing what his normal authorship voice is.

In his attempt to reach the publishing nirvana of 'balanced reporting' Mr Paulson performs heroic contortions. This makes for a most stuttering and disjointed flow to the article, as he has to stop his narrative three or four times in as many paragraphs to insert the balancing blocks. This is a shame (although all too commonplace) as with just a little thought I'm sure he could have produced a piece that flowed more naturally and still covered his ass with the legal department.

I ask you, how stilted, manufactured and contrived is the section beginning with 'Speaking to a large crowd' and ending with the quote from West? After one sentence Paulson feels compelled to insert a lengthy chunk explaining (in a balanced, non-litigious way of course) what the Discovery institute is. Returning to a quote from Professor Myers the piece breaks off yet again after one sentence ("As a result") to not only insert an instant rebuttal from John West but a further two paragraphs containing not only a bald assertion but a detailed sales aid for the latest research snatched straight from a Discovery Institute press release.

I'm sorry Mr Paulson but your prejudice is showing here; in aiming for a balanced piece you misjudged and it reads as if the Discovery Institute wrote it for you. Come on Mr Paulson if you can't have some respect for your trade skills you'll never be promoted to write in the minors. If you continue to demonstrate this standard of disdain for your readers you'll never have any.

Fri, 06 Jun 2008 01:58:00 UTC | #179817