About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

My Pandora "radio station" profile
This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

My Yahoo "radio station"
(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)

Shopping

Looking to purchase something online? Support Caddickisms by going through one of these links:

Caddickisms Store

Amazon.com

Calendar

March 2013
S M T W T F S
« Jan   Apr »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Topics

Posts by month

Around the site

Torchwood Lights Up May - Slice of SciFi In a recent interview with SciFi Wire, writer-producer Russell T.Davies (Doctor Who) stated that filming for the 13-episodes of Torchwood, the Doctor WhoTorchwood - Doctor Who spinoff

JMSNews J. Michael Straczynski, the creator/writer/producer of Babylon 5 and Crusade, has been writing for television for twenty years. He's been pretty successful at it, too. He doesn't just write forJMS deluged with attention

Quick rant here... I'm currently pretty steamed at our medical benefits provider. We're in our Annual Enrollment period right now. Only 3 days left to decide which of 3 options isQuality Control Rant

What kind of a movie can you make with $5000 and some talented friends? If you choose wisely, apparently a pretty good one. Trailer 2 - The Hunt For Gollum [2] by HuntForGollum ThisA return to Middle Earth: The Hunt for Gollum - Tuesday TubeWatch

I mentioned in a previous post that I was experimenting with [tag]Podcasting[/tag] for [tag]training[/tag] purposes at work. I thought it might be nice to share what I've learned so far,Podcasting for corporate training example - how I did it

I've been holding off on posting my thoughts until I felt I had a real grasp for quality of the show. Well, I can now say that I firmly believeReview: Heroes Ep 1-3

Doctor Who To Return For Fifth Season In 2010 - Slice of Scifi I can't say I really understand why they are doing this. Does everyone really need a full years'Doctor Who Takes a Vacation

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » Failed Aquaman Tries On Green Arrow and The CW Network Announces Fall Premiere Schedule Smallville now hasSmallville: Green is in this year

Well, what do you know? The first trailer for X-Men 3 actually looks good! I was really worried with all the rumors I'd been hearing. Now I'm looking forward toX-3 trailer up

This is one of a series of articles I wrote for The Coalition of Awesomeness blog some time ago. The blog has since gone to an unfortunate (but very awesome)Who do you serve, and who do you trust?

This may be the first meme I've done on this blog. I've done a couple on Facebook, but none here that I can remember. I caught this one over atHow I've wasted my life

Set in the 12th century Crusades and the defense of Jerusalem, this movie should have been one I loved. The crew took pains to ensure an accurate portrayal of theReview: Kingdom of Heaven

The Simple Dollar » The Money Savvy Pig and My Son’s Allowance Another good idea from Trent, over at The Simple Dollar. A transparent, compartmentalized, piggybank does seem like a goodTeaching money management to kids

Corporate eLearning Strategies and Development: Image carving - Adobe hires imaging guru - Adobe Learning Summit Oh, man. If you have EVER spent time resizing an image, you owe it toDynamic Image Resizing

Long-distance callers have some money coming - MarketWatch Make any long distance calls in the last three years? Claim your cash in 2007! The repeal of the Federal excise tax (initiated inClaim some long-distance cash!

Fact checking the easy stuff

So our water company had a break in at one of their tanks recently and while they’re checking to make sure the water hasn’t been contaminated, they’ve issued a “Do Not Consume” warning. The meat of the official warning, as found on the water company web site, is this:

DO NOT DRINK THE WATER UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. Customers are asked to not use the water for drinking, cooking, food preparation, oral hygiene or providing to pets until further notice. Throw away ice cubes if made with tap water after 3:30pm on March 13. The water can be used for sanitary purposes such as bathing and washing. If you have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult your doctor.

Locally, this is kind of a big deal, even if it is just precautionary. So I’m checking out the information about this stuff on two local news stations last night. Both of them screwed it up.

Were the screw-ups important? Depends how you look at it. But come on… this is a pretty easy one to get right.

On the one station, their mistake was on their web site. As these are usually transcriptions of what they say on air it’s possible they said it that way as well. The mistake was that they instructed people to throw away their ice if it was made before 3:30pm. That’s backwards, and if there actually is contamination and people are too stupid to think for themselves, it’s dangerous. Even so, I can see how someone typing this up might have switched the word accidentally – just bad proofreading. Still it should get fixed when people point it out (as I did in the comments section). And it would have been pretty easy, and more accurate, to just copy/paste the same paragraph I did above anyway.

On the other station, the anchors said on-air at 11pm (well after the warning, and plenty of time to research something this simple) that you can’t even use the water to bathe or wash clothes. They emphasized it, and it’s patently opposite what the warning states. During the show I posted a correction on their Facebook page and they acknowledged the mistake there. No on-air correction, but they’ve got a timed show to run, so whatever. What annoyed me was that they ran a brand new report this morning and re-stated the same mistake.

Now I get that they might want to be leaning on the more conservative side – it’s possible to accidentally ingest the water while showering, after all – so I wouldn’t be upset if they stated it more as commentary than as official news. But to repeatedly state something completely the opposite of something clearly stated in the official warning just seems wrong. Do it once, it’s a possibly innocent mistake. Keep doing it after you’ve been corrected? That’s either on purpose or poor journalism.

Either way, it bugs me. If they’re getting something this simple wrong, why should I trust they’re getting bigger stuff right?

Tags: ,

2 comments to Fact checking the easy stuff

  • “Why should I trust they’re getting bigger stuff right?”

    Ahh, there’s the problem. They probably aren’t!

    On many occasions, I think the main problem is that they report too soon before the facts are fully known even if they DID try to find out (this often happens with disasters and other breaking news), in other cases it’s shoddy reporting or poor fact checking or general ineptitude. And there are probably the odd one or two malicious misleading efforts.

    Reply to this comment

    Jeff says:

    I think you nailed it. I can’t argue with you.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply

  

  

  

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge