A response from a “journalist”

Back in January I wrote a post, that took perhaps 5 minutes to bang out comparing David Farrar’s new found passion for travel blogging and a similar but boring article written by Jill Worrell. David is of course new media and understand the audience and Jill is…well…I’ll let you be the judge, because she has sent me an email.

I never apologise for my work. Instead I always allow a right of reply and let the Whale Army decide for themselves the value of the complaint:

Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 11:48 PM

From: Jill Worrall
To: Whaleoil
Cc: David Farrar

Hi there

Someone, as people sometimes feel they must, has told me because they thought maybe I should know that you decided to get stuck into my writing.

I looked, I see it is true.

I am just incredulous that you would think I was worth the space! What on earth have I ever done that might have made me deserving of your scathing “pen”!

However, for many years I put up with a lot of shit in a newsroom and vowed never to just let it slip by. so here i am.

I never believe anyone who says it doesn’t hurt to see themselves criticised. Of course it does. So, yes I feel quite churned up that you felt it necessary to go public on what you regard as my writing inadequacies! For someone as boring as me you sure spared me a lot of time!

As to the blog, it’s a travel blog…it’s supposed to be a diary of where I am travelling. It’s designed to entertain and inform rather than be a piece of self-promotion or showing how clever I am.

And although your opinion is of course valid I tend to put rather more store on the travel writer who judged me travel writer of the year a few years back, the judges that handed me two Qantas Awards and most recently another award in the travel writers’ awards. And I’ll just keep on collecting the money from the various publishers who pay me to write for them!

I am not sure how old you are but maybe at some point in your life you will realise that straight out unkindness and personal attacks say more about you than they do about your victim and that ultimately they do you more harm than them. It’s not good for you. Ultimately I would rather end my days thinking I’d bored a few people than know I’d distressed them. If the definition of a blog has become being about to launch such personal diatribes about people like me who have never craved any kind of media attention or public profile then thank god I don’t make the grade!



PS I thought David might like to see my reply as well.

Yes, well…I am thoroughly told off now, aren’t I…Anyway I thought my readers might like to see your reply too.


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  • Beenthere

    She seems to have taken it rather personally, hasn’t she?, If anything, your original post underlines the old saying ‘A picture tells a thousand words’ 

  • Hawker

    Well first thing that springs to my mind is good on her for adressing what she sees is a issue for her. I like the fact that she will try to defend her writing.

    However she goes into far to much depth about her own writing and defends it rather than comenting on the main thrust of your post ” the difference between a blogger and a journalist.

    She does state “someone as boring as me you sure spared me a lot of time” for your perhaps 12 line post including quoting her.

    I must say that gives you (in her eyes) the status of un boring or not as boring as her. As she uses far more lines than your post contained in her message to you. LOL

  • Tigger

    “I’m not sure how old you are.” Old enough to deserve not being patronized by this bitch, who isn’t herself “old” enough to handle mild criticism.

  • thor42

    I think the wisest course of action would have been for her to  say “meh” and let the criticism slide off like water off a duck’s back.

  • Pete George

    A fair reponse and good for WO to give her an airing in a post.

    straight out unkindness and personal attacks say more about you than
    they do about your victim and that ultimately they do you more harm than
    them. It’s not good for you.

    Generally yes, I agreee. Being too much of a a grizzlewort too often can’t be good for you. But, ah, sometimes I get accused of grizzling too much about people grizzling.

    Ultimately I would rather end my days
    thinking I’d bored a few people than know I’d distressed them.

    Same. The problem is – some people claim that what I comment is boring and sitting on the fence, while others say they are distressed and say I’m representing an extreme viewpoint.

    It can be ard to bore all of the people all of the time.

  • AnonWgtn

    Yawn – another hard done by woman.

  • Orange

    It was boring to read so I skipped to the end. Probably just had a bad week and needed to vent. Probably would have been better venting elsewhere. If people don’t comment on your writing it’s usually because they are not reading it. So getting upset that someone is reading your stuff is odd.

    • Random66

      Yes I too was surprised by the standard and content of writing, particularly from someone who apparently is the ‘real deal’ as she so eloquently points out with her awards.  I also tend to agree with thor42 on this one.

  • MrV

    I thought the original post was more just general banter at DPF, rather than anything particularly untoward at Jill.
    I mean she is obviously asked to submit 1000 words for her stories, so supplies 1000 words. The fact it is not a picture blog probably down to the nzherald editorial style than anything she can control.

  • toby_toby

    She’s still boring. Even her whining is boring. I’m bored just being here and writing this, in fact I…ZZZzzzz

    • TCrwdb

      Agreed!!  I fell asleep just after the first paragraph!!  Suspect her travels are no con-tiki tours…

  • toby_toby

    She’s still boring. Even her whining is boring. I’m bored just being here and writing this, in fact I…ZZZzzzz

  • Gazzadelsud

    yup still boring, so she is old,female and boring, but she can’t stop being patronising can she.  Well done Jill, someone who writes apparently for a living, but doesnt want to be recognised or have anyone notice that she is to literature what candyfloss is to cuisine.

    If she could have avoided the gratuitous flick, I might have felt a bit sympathetic, but she should be pleased, she has probably quadrupled the number of people who have heard of her, in one go. 

  • Euan Rt

    Maybe Whales’ post should rather have been, ‘female view vs male view’. I find a man can always express his meaning in as few words as needed. Woman go take a more detailed route, which can lead to getting the follower lost on the way. 
    eg a man may say “turn left at the Caltex, go to the end of the street, turn right and third house on the left”.
     Whereas a woman might say, “go past the fruit shop, then you get tiffany’s shoes on the right, keep going until you get to Dairy Queen, and then after that there is a road on the left. Go past that until you pass Countdown and take the next street on the left which should be Buller Street. You will see a yellow feed store on the right . Go past that until you come to a round about. Go through the roundabout passed my aunties house until you come to a stop sign at the end of the road. Turn right at the end of the road and you will see a yellow house, then a green house and then a blue house. You want the blue house.
    And therein lies the difference between David and Jill.

  • Natalie

    As Ms Worrell is so concerned about her professional reputation, and will obviously be following this thread, I wonder Ms Worrell, if you would be so kind as to confirm you personally (or your newspaper), paid for this trip from Timaru to Africa.

    I ask, because many travel articles I have read by other writers include a full disclosure if a particular airline or hotel chain or travel agency has paid for the writer’s trip.

    There is no such disclosure in your article and for the avoidance of doubt I am sure your readers would want to know of potential any conflict of interest if your trip has been funded in part, or full, by a tourism operator with a vested interest in what you wrote.

    As this could have an impact on your professionalism and impartiality I am certain you will want to respond here.I look forward to your response.

  • Grantavius

    Are journalists paid by the word?

  • Damien_Grant

    It is simply a different format. Jill Worrall was writing primarily for the print edition of
    a newspaper, even though it was posted online: David Farrar was writing for his

    The format is completely different with different requirements and also I suspect a
    different reader profile.

    Judging Worrall by the standards of a blog when she is not blogging makes little sense.

  • A-random-reader

    She’s actually making some good points.

    You would do well to keep an open mind about what she is saying.

    • Ronnie Chow

        And they are written very , very badly . Re-read the first two paragraphs after the airhead “Hi there” street greeting  .
         Travel writing is mostly fluff , often made up . But poorly thought out sentence structure such as “Someone, as people sometimes feel they must..” just isn’t good writing period .

  • Hagues

    LOL she thought that blog post was about her. Stupid as well as boring.

  • Macca

    I agree with her. There are a lot of targets out there and I don’t think she needed to be one of them.

  • @BoJangles

    A boring reply….a bad hair week, methinks.

  • nzd.gbp

    Is she being ironic when defending her writing with that first sentence? 

    It deserves the Phil U treatment:


    …as people sometimes feel they must…

    …has told me…

    …because they thought…maybe…I should know…

    …that you decided to get stuck into my writing…

    • nzd.gbp

      “I looked, I see it is true”That’s choice. Sounds like out of a sinbad movie.

    • frosty

      haha well done!  who would have thought applying the ‘phil u filter’ would ever IMPROVE the comprehension of someone’s rambling…

      • nzd.gbp

        I often find myself doing that, but don’t tell Phillip Ure.

        The philu filter:
        1. find sentences with rambling sub-clauses2. fix punctation by putting in all necessary commas3. replace commas with ellipses4. put in more ellipses5. inhale

      • nzd.gbp

        dammit i have trouble with formatting. Whale, would it be possible to add an edit timer like on farrar’s blog?

    • nzd.gbp

      Sorry Jill. It may seem mean to tease you but you are a professional, award winning, writer and probably a good one to boot. It’s not personal.


    Sorry did I miss anything.Fell asleep reading above Response from Jill

  • Kiwiinlondon

    Wow – a real over reaction from Jill.  

    Jill – remember  – it’s just one person’s opinion!    Jill’s article was great.  Personally, I didn’t find David’s Africa blog compelling at all.  The photo / caption thing was a confused layout.  And there is much more freedom on a blog than there is for a travel article for the Herald.  

    Jill – don’t take it so personally.  So – WO was a little bored when he was reading your article.  It’s not a big deal.  You win some, you lose some.  I get a bit bored reading WO’s blog sometimes – do you think he would care?  Of course not!   Toughen up and keep writing!  

  • Kiwipuskas

    Natalie – I can confirm that she paid for the trip herself, as she doeswith many of her trips