Friday, February 22, 2008

Inaccurate Journalism

I've said for many years that, as soon as you find a news story about which you have first-hand knowledge, you'll find that the journalists reporting it have made fundamental errors, and will often have failed to check their facts.

My Dad appeared on local radio in the city where I grew up, commenting on pre-Christmas retail trading (funnily enough, he worked in retail, and so knew something about this subject!), and usually found, when listening to the recording later, that his comments had been mis-edited, or mis-interpreted by the journalists. There have since been other cases in my own experience, though nothing all that important.

Now I get to point you to a detailed example in someone else's life. Joel on Software was interviewed on the subject of Microsoft's recent release of API documentation, and he has posted a correction for the benefit of anyone unlucky enough to read the journalist's mis-interpretive garbage. Mind you, Joel himself had to later post correction to his own correction! Which perhaps just goes to show how easy it is to screw up in this media business.

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