Thursday, February 23, 2006

Losing Count

Watching multiple stations trying to cover a house fire in Council Bluffs Tuesday night was quite an adventure for anyone who might have been concerned about the facts. One alert reader was paying attention and notes the following:

Channel 7 reported 6 family members in the house, 4 of whom were children.
Channel 42 counted 8 in the house, 6 of them children.
Channel 6 found 12 people living there, with 8 being children.
Channel 3 scored it as 6 in the house and only one of them an adult.

The reader continues, noting that "Julie 'There's No Reason I Should Have a Job' Cornell" intro'd the two-alarm fire saying, 'There's a really big fire going on in Council Bluffs.' What the hell is that? How does that describe anything to the viewer?"

Maybe John Knicely is ghost-writing her copy.

4 comments:

rivercity_jack said...

Thats like saying "There's a guy named Rob sitting next to me."

photofarm said...

That certainly isn't surprising, as it is often pretty confusing at the scene. I'd rather that reporters just report that there were people in the house, not give numbers. At least that is accurate.

It seems that reporters are more interested ( maybe from editors pressing the issue ) to get numbers even if they have to be revised later.

Matt_X said...

Accuracy and sense are two things lacking from most newsrooms in this market.

Take this story from WOWT's website:

http://www.wowt.com/home/headlines/2391001.html

The first sentence talks about how "The filing deadline for new candidates in school board elections has passed and a plethora of open seats means some school districts will see many new faces making important decisions."

OK, great, you know the word plethora. However, the rest of the article talks about how all how in all of these open seats except for one, the incumbent is unopposed. You would think either a producer or an anchor reading the script before the show might catch something like that.

Ted Brockman said...

Matt, I've come to the conclusion that, with the exception of about a half-dozen people, thinking isn't a high priority activity at Channel 6.

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