Allan Takes Aim Blog

It’s Silly Season time in Australia

Posted on: 15 December 2012

The Silly Season is a period of time in Australia, the UK, New Zealand and South Africa when news- papers cannot report either Parliament or Law Courts news because neither are sitting, which tends to inflate the egos of politicians and lawyers and make them think they are world’s newsworthy people.

In the US the equivalent period is called Slow News Time and if only to show the Silly Season or Slow News Time doesn’t only apply to English speaking countries. And you would be wrong to think that silly seasons or slow news periods are confined to the world of English language media. Similar seasons are to be found in a bigger variety of counties than Heinz has products.

Most media organisations, whether in the English speaking countries or elsewhere, rely on advertising to support them. However the silly or slow news season causes advertisers to reduce the amount they spend on advertising with the result that often they resort to attraction grabbing headlines Unfortunate as it is, attraction grabbing headlines are sometimes needed to bring serious issues to the public’s attention.

And nor can I swear to it but in some cases the story behind the headline is better than the published story. It is possible also that without the headline there would be no story worth reading because customers would be hard to come by, something that would be galling for the journalist who wrote the story but didn’t write the headline, which as I know well, is frequently the case.

So what do people elsewhere call the Silly Season or Slow News Time? In Germany, Sommerloch is the equivalent while in France it is la morte –saison. The Dutch, Danes, Norwegians, Slovaks, Hebrews, Hungarians, Poles, and Estonian call it cucumber time with the word ‘pickled’ preceding cucumber.

The word Pickled is apt because in these times of the year journalists often get pickled. It has to be said that no matter in which country they work many journalists could write the authoritative book on getting pickled.

But let me not bore you with any more silliness but invite you to enjoy Australia’s Silly Season without necessarily getting pickled. And so I will complete the blog by offering some good examples of attention grabbing newspaper headlines be they embarrassing slips of the tongue, faulty grammar or less than subtle innuendo as Christmas gifts:
• Stiff opposition expected to casketless funeral plan
• Police begin campaign to run down jaywalkers
• Iraqi head seeks arms
• Prostitutes appeal to Pope
• Dr Ruth to talk about sex with newspaper editors
• Squad helps dog bite victim
• Eye drops off shelf
• Miners refuse to work after death.

As to which papers these headlines came from you’ll have to find out for yourselves. And as you search for them you’ll come across more of them that will make your Christmas even happier.

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3 Responses to "It’s Silly Season time in Australia"

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