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Subject:  Is The Wall of Lies accurate?

03/04/2010 12:49 GMT

I was surprised to hear The Wall of Lies described tonight as a literal wall of lies. The title refers to Marco Polo episode four (viz. the 17th episode of Doctor Who), from when episodes were individually titled, as opposed to having collective on screen story titles. It seems to have been a reference to this as well as an ironic comment.

The publication began as "The South Australian Doctor Who Fan Club Inc. News Sheet" in January 1991, and became The Wall of Lies by issue 22 in June 1993 (while apparently always published bi-monthly, archive holdings are not complete). I took over from Matthew Fazakerley with issue 82 in May 2003. The format chosen was a tabloid parody in style, and a doubled A3 in substance (the copy shop offered a cheaper rate for omitting the staple).

The content features a masthead on page one. This includes whether the edition is first run ("State") or later ("Final"), in the style of a certain tabloid. With issue 100 in May 2006 I added the dates of inception for the publication and the club.

Under this is a joke news story. This may have caused some confusion to readers, despite some of the news being impossible (the latest issue claims Jack the Ripper and Lara Bingle have broken up), fatuous (the story that ABC viewers were enjoying the onscreen watermark so much they were having optometrists insert it directly into their eyeballs) or simply stated as such ("Not a real news story"). My favourite was "Brown Dumbity Dumb Dumb SBS" in issue 108, which was cited as the reason it won a Double Gamma in 2008.

The bottom half of page one is a real news story which wraps onto page two. Some scoops have been ABC Distributes Wall of Lies (issue 87), Nation Estate Unfairly Blamed (for the Dalek episodes missing from the ABC run of Who, issue 88), TEN Torched (Ten Australia buys Torchwood, issue 105), Doctor Who Tapes Lost (ABC misplaces viewing copies of series four, issue 111) and Who Pulled (Doctor Who series two taken off ABC2 mid run and why, issue 117). These were all stories either broken in the newsletter or simply not covered elsewhere, mainstream or fan media. Even when stories were covered by other publications, The Wall of Lies has always gone to the source and featured original quotes, not just rewritten press releases. Or not rewritten press releases, as seems increasingly frequent in the press.

Also found on page two are a column on astronomy and one on archival matters. These are simply my interests, and I make no apologies.

Page three has club information and any schedules for the show/spin offs appearing on free to air television in Australia. ABC doesn't guarantee schedules more than four weeks ahead of time, whereas we will publish up to three months ahead, as being a print publication we are stuck both with the information as supplied and our own bi-monthly printing schedule. Thus errors could appear here, however we run a disclaimer as this is beyond our control. Page three also has an archive of club publications, reprinting items from ten/twenty years previously (we are on the verge of being able to go thirty years back!!!)

Page four either reprints more material, or features some original fiction/art/comic strip/editorial invective. And that's a wrap.

To my mind, while odd typos have gotten through, the only mistake published during my run has been the schedule showing Torchwood Declassified screening with Torchood series one in issue 118. We published a correction in issue 119, and the original error was in the advice ABC gave us rather then some strange whim of my own. We always publish credit for sources where possible, which unfortunately we do not always get in return. Some exclusive content has made its way online, complete with my own original typos. And there was that strange incident when the ABC circulated a draft copy of issue 84, complete with the claim that it was an original ABC document...!

One publication which has always cited when using as a source is This Week In Doctor Who (and vice versa). I wish all fan media had Ben Elliott's integrity!

We placed some issues online albeit two years ago (please report any dead links):

Now, having said all that, please nominate The Wall of Lies for Best Newsletter in 2010. Three Double Gammas in row would be a lovely achievement.


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Subject:  Re: Is The Wall of Lies accurate?

10/04/2010 00:32 GMT

One should always check the sources whether the writer or the end reader if it is important to them.
On the whole, I enjoy them.
The false stories are sometimes written such they almost seem real.


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