Australia’s fine wool (Merino) industry

Imagine if a capital city newspaper ran a story on Toyota wheel drives and illustrated it with an image of a Mini Cooper S.  Can you imagine the resulting  laughter, too?

Apparently it’s fine to use any old stock library image when it comes to illustrating a story on agriculture, however.  The Feb 4-5 2012 edition of Brisbane’s Courier Mail includes a Nigel Austin article on the improving state of the Australian wool industry.  Which is the Australian fine wool industry.  Most Australians are hopefully aware that Australia remains the world leader when it comes to fine wool production, and that this fine wool is produced by our famous Merino sheep.  So surely an image of Merino sheep would be in order, to illustrate a story on Merino fine wool?

No, let’s use an image of  a ‘carpet wool’ breed such as Border Leicesters (distinctly different even to the untrained eye, because of their prominent roman noses).  It’s a gaffe on a par with writing about Maseratis and illustrating it with an image of a Mack roadtrain. 

There are daily examples of such media slackness in our capital city newspapers.  No wonder urban residents are becoming increasingly uneducated about Australian food & fibre production, when the images accompanying articles are so often misleadingly inaccurate.

‘Australia was built on the sheep’s back’ is true.  Our unique Merino wool industry deserves more respect.

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