Monday, April 18, 2005

Heard it on NPR

Sometimes NPR is really cool, and a good provider of
news and information. They usually interview enough
original sources so that even if the news story is slanted,
it is possible to pick out some version of the truth. They
also have pretty neat filler stories, like the audio expeditions
into jungles, or the new item they are doing called
"This I Believe" which is apparently of a similar radio
show in the 50's. Things that make me think:
"I'll write a This I Believe essay and post it on my
weblog, then send it to NPR."

Then of course the next news item is: "Confusion
still reigns in Iraqi town where several days ago
it was reported that some people were kidnapped."
Maybe confusion did reign yesterday, but it seems to
me that by this morning things were pretty clear. I
listened to NPR on the way to work, and they had
a guy in the town of Madain, and he reported that
things were pretty normal and none had been kidnapped.

12 hours later is enough time to me to stop using the
'confusion reigns in an Iraqi town' story. It seems to me
that NPR uses the news schedule and time difference to
keep bad news on the air longer, so that 'All Things considered'
says in the evening "A soldier was killed in fighting yesterday",
then morning edition says "A soldier was killed in fighting
yesterday" then evening editon repeats the same news so
that they are always reporting that soldiers were killed. [please
don't think I don't care about the soldiers there doing the fighting,
someday maybe I'll be able sort out which hairs fell off my head
due to stress at work, and which fell off my head
from the stress of following the news on a day to day basis.]

Today they seemed to do the same thing with the problems in
Madain, leading off with "continued confusion" instead of leading off
with the most interesting things, like: (to paraprase npr this morning):
yesterday 3 battalions of the Iraqi army entered the town along with
Iraqi special forces.

Confusion is normal in war, but it appeared to me that the confusion
was over by this evening so unless your objective is to portray the
country as a mass of confusion, stop reporting it. (gee could they be
slanted at all?),2933,153689,00.html


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