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Kinda late, but still here. IANS chapters 2-4.

Reading through the chapters 2-4 there was one idea that really kept hitting me in the head the whole time, is it really the journalist who is responsible for the numbers. I know there are internal polls-websites, phone, etc.. But outside of the numbers that are created from the actual news supplier itself, the rest of the numbers-those, are they, and can be they be spoken for by the news agency then? I Don't think so. "Reporters shouldn't say 'how many"....unless they also say "how", (84). Fine, but what if there is no one to ask, what if the story needs to be run, why are we holding the news to greater esteem, them scientist/researchers. Don't kill the messenger, right. the news are the messenger-hell if some researcher messed up my story, etc.. I see no harm in letting the public know the name of the schmuck who couldn't count. People need to be held accountable, and sometimes because we feel so grief stricken by something that happened to us, we don't seek out the one who burned us, we settle on whoever is there and unable to deflect the blows we're throwing. I get what the book is saying, but I just feel that the book is blaming the news for scientific stuff. I know that some polls are news generated, but when the journalist is doing a story, he gets numbers, and the there is not enough time to get the answers before you run the story, why is it still the news fault. Maybe I am able to look at things and not take them for fact. I don't really believe anything the news says-I feel they have agendas-I like box scores, those can not be changed and fixed, they are absolute. But to blow your stack over polls and studies, hell you might be more naive then you thought. Sum it all up: Don't Believe the Hype.

Comments (2)

shannon Moskal:

I agree that there may not be enough time for journalists to get all the facts and numbers before running a story, but that should be part of the story - "These were the latest polls since midnight." I also think that papers should run stories explaining they get their numbers- any of them- so readers understand they are never getting exact numbers. THIs is why people get into arguments when one person recites a number they read in the paper and another person recites another number they read in another paper and another person has a number they just heard on the news. Ever since I learned about case studies and numbers, I haven't taken one seriously since. THE funny thing is, however, even though people know the numbers are skewed, if they like the way the numbers lean, they tend to believe those numbers.


I completely agree with you, Mitch. I felt the same way when I was reading the book. Why is it the reporter's fault if the scientist gives him wrong information and he unknowingly reports it? Obviously, if the reporter knows he's giving faulty information, that's a different story, but, I like to think that most people are not that shady. The reporter goes to the scientist to get information because he doesn't have it in the first place. And since the reporter doesn't have this info, how is he supposed to judge if its valid or not? I understand that he could check with other sources, but what if there are no other knowledgable sources? Or what if the reporter is on a deadline and doesn't have time to find these sources?

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