An article about Watsonia that has recently appeared on a real estate website shows little to no understanding of what Watsonia is all about. At best it’s a rush job, and at worst it’s a horrible example of the desk-bound journalism we constantly see being churned out from under resourced news rooms.

The article, that you can see here, seems to have involved little on-the-ground research, with the bulk of quotes coming from keyboard warriors on an undisclosed online forum. You get the feeling that the majority of observations could’ve just been gleaned from Google Street View. For example, the RSL is described as “imposing” yet fails to mention the delightful scented candles in the men’s urinal.

Leaning so heavily on Google’s many wonderful applications has allowed them to provide a neat cartographer’s look at the suburb, giving us a detailed understanding of the borders of our suburb, without ever really scratching the surface. There’s no mention of our wonderful four pizza shops, impressive range of bakeries, trendy abandoned oBike, plans for a giant dim sim tourist attraction, cutting-edge local newspaper (that one hurts the most), thriving public art community, and the beautiful Binnak Park.

They’ve even tracked down some serious proper data from the local council to indicate that Watsonia has the “highest proportion of separate housing and the lowest proportion of medium density housing across the [Banyule] municipality”. But rather than trumpet that as a wonderful feature it’s kind of painted as a negative. Like, get with the times Watsy, why don’t you shrink your backyards and bring your neighbours agonisingly close like the rest of suburban Melbourne?

They also choose one of the least attractive houses for the one photo of a house in the article (sincere apologies if it’s your house…), but I guess that helps them continue their narrative that Watsonia is stuck in the 1970s. “If that”, they said. If that.

Then, without actually interviewing any local residents or business owners, it seems they’ve just typed “What do people say about Watsonia” into Google and uncovered an online forum where commenters feel compelled to use the acronym “IMO” even though they were obviously already expressing their opinion. But you know what, while we’re disappointed in what we see as a misrepresentation of our fair suburb, it’s probably actually a good thing, as it will ensure that we can continue to live in one of the best kept secrets in Melbourne. Stand proud today Watsonians. Haters gunna hate.

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