2011/04/03

Sloppy journalism (as usual)

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Some reporters misunderstood a pictogram (obviously showing a flare hanging on a parachute) on an illumination mortar bomb (there's "ILLUM PARA" written on it - how dumb are those reporters?!) for a star of david and a crescent.
End result: A conspiracy theory about Israeli weapons in Libya.


On another note, German news reported about the crash of a U.S. warplane (A-10) with "11000" rounds of ammunition on-board (many news outlets copy-pasted the faulty dpa message).

Let's look at the Spiegel news; it cites the dpa nonsense of 11000 rounds AND a much closer to reality report from a local newspaper about 1500 rounds. The Spiegel author KNEW that the figure was obviously fishy, but he DID NOT spend one minute on a quick wikipedia check in order to learn that an A-10 has a capacity for 1,174 rounds (or 1,350 if you look in the German wikipedia) and is written "A-10", not "A10".

Actually, 1,174 is what they usually load, 1,350 rounds is capacity, 1,500 is inaccurate and 11,000 is journalism fail.


It's really an inconvenient price we pay for free press. It's so enticing to think of a world in which reporters who do not fact-check properly be fined.

S O
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4 comments:

  1. As bad as an Austrian Newspaper, that twice already sent Regatten to do the job of Fregatten (frigates). One can just imagine how helpful they would be in enforcing the nofly zone in Lybia...

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  2. I've seen a Heckler & Koch MP5 called a machine gun and the MP7 called a "Sturmgewehr", the Mk-144 Guided Missile Launcher for the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile called a "Stalinorgel", the old Rhein-class navy tenders called destroyers, the PzH 2000 called a tank, automatic pistols called a revolver, a rifle called a "Flinte" and the above mentioned A-10 called a "Düsenjäger"

    To me, it is indeed often sloppy reporting or pure ignorance, but sometimes there's an agenda behind these misnomers as they are repeated after being pointed out. A tank or destroyer is more offensive than a howitzer or tender. Nothing better than a "Stalinorgel" to conjure up terrifying images of death and destruction - never mind it is designed as a point-defense missile system.

    There's not much one can do when one comes across such BS but take the rest of the text with a grain, or better two grains, of salt - if one doesn't want to stop reading completely, that is...

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  3. Not to count the many times the "Bundesmarine" resurfaced in news.

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  4. That happens to me as well. It's a difficult name change for many of those who served at a time when everybody still called the navy "Bundesmarine".
    So as long as they don't call it "Kriegsmarine"...

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