Monday, June 22, 2009

three cheers for journalistic integrity!

sometimes there are things in this world that just defy logic. but if we focus on the little things, we might be able to right the world before it is too late. one such area i’d like folks to consider is in the daily reporting of the temperature. yesterday, the weatherman reported that it was 100 degrees, with a heat index was 108degrees. if i understand it right, a heat index is “what it feels like” outside. is this to say that the weather is an emotional state of mind? no. can weather be manipulated by, say, oprah? no. so, why not just report the truth? i mean the temperature is not like a forecast – “there’s a 50% chance of thunder showers in the afternoon.” no one really cares about the accuracy rating of a forecast anyway because the odds of the weathermen being right is less than even. so why not be frank about absolutes such as the temperature. either it is or it isn’t 108. if it is, just say, “it’s 108 degrees outside.” if they’re not sure, just get in the ball park. simply say, “it’s freakin’ hot out there. be careful and make sure you hydrate.” we can take it. and maybe, if we can get the weather reported with some honesty, that attitude might spill over into other areas of journalism.