Oscar Wilde and the publicity machine

Yes, we have the Oscar Wilde trials. Exciting, huh?

Yes, that’s all we’ve got. No, we didn’t censor anything. The “details of the case are unfit for publication” bit? That was the original publishers. They did that all the time with sex cases. Bloody Victorians, spoiling our fun.

Should I blame our publicity people for including the case in the press release? I’d have left it out altogether, myself. It’s not like we don’t have plenty of sexy alternatives, what with Crippen and suffragettes and Irish terrorists (all of which were also in the press release). Or perhaps blame the journalists for bigging it up? (But it’s a notorious sex scandal! And it’s Oscar Wilde! What else are they going to do?)

What we said, buried in the middle of the press release, was:

Some of the most sensational cases ever to be tried at the Old Bailey are also now available for people to view, including the trials in which Oscar Wilde was convicted of indecency and the infamous Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen, who killed his wife, was bought to justice.

And somehow you end up with Reuters (and hence newspapers round the entire fucking globe) heading up their report with:

The transcript from Oscar Wilde’s trial for gross indecency at London’s Old Bailey Court went online for the first time on Monday alongside a raft of murder, robbery and abduction cases.

(And what that means is that I get a bunch of emails asking where’s the transcript and have we censored the material?)

Bah. I blame everybody.

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2 Responses to Oscar Wilde and the publicity machine

  1. Chris Williams says:

    But Bloomberg quoted you about it, which is kinda cool. I’ve been tracking the media interest this week, and it’s at that kind of warm and comforting level which I know will come in well handy should the Associate Dean (Research) ever turn nasty.

  2. Sharon says:

    We’ve all been tracking the media this week. It’s been fun. We got our 15 minutes of fame! (Sort of.) The Terrible Trio (Tim, Bob, Clive) have no doubt been in their element.

    (I just discovered that the Director of CICS [computing services] at Sheffield has a blog, and apparently it was CICS who ‘worked out’ what our traffic problem was. We knew what the problem was, luv. It was our freaky humungous fucking database + nearly 2 million hits in a day. Duh.)

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