Saturday, February 17, 2007


A massive winter storm has dumped snow on 22 states this week. One area of upstate New York received record snowfall, with some regions getting more than 12 feet of snow.

How do you reconcile Global Warming with winter weather?

Yes. Although it is cold today, average temperatures for the year are rising.

No. With storms this large and the arctic temperatures many experienced last week, I have my doubts.

Maybe. There definitely seems to be changes happening in our climate, but is it global warming?

Are you kidding me?

This just goes to show that any blunder, no matter how seemingly insignificant, can make you look like an idiot. Sure, compared to the overall number of online readers, the group who saw this poll is likely much smaller. But a simple read-through and the author should - at the very least - notice that none of the answers is a gramatically acceptable response to the question.

In a critique of the aforementioned poll CJR's Curtis Brainard also notes that "climate" should not be mistaken for "weather." Essentially, he writes, "ABC's careless poll did a disservice to its readers, to science and to all the bleary-eyed policy makers out there that are trying to make sense of the climate debate. The network can do better -- much better."

Um, no kidding. What ever happened to paying attention to detail? Yes, we all make mistakes - but I might go so far as to say that mistakes as careless as this one are never acceptable when you're an organization the size and strength of ABC (or NBC, CBS, CNN or any number of print publications).

Personally, I don't think it was acceptable for the graduate program to submit last night's show with its graphical errors. A "Stop the violence" OTS before a children's story? Sure, things like that happen in the production process all the time. But when they do, fix them.

My point: If Medillians should know better, then shame on mega-networks like ABC for being equally careless.



At Sunday, February 18, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

I don't care about the grammatical error so much as the absurdity of the question. Global warming has nothing to do with day to day temperature changes. It's not something you can off-hand say, "oh it's quite cold this winter, that must mean that global warming isn't real." Climate change is real, and nothing new. Think, the ice age. The question is whether human activity is altering the climate... I don't see how an ABC poll of the hoi polloi would offer any relevant insight to that question.

yours in truth,

At Sunday, February 18, 2007, Anonymous VLD said...



At Sunday, February 18, 2007, Blogger Medill Media Watch said...

What I find most troubling is the slippery slope effect of such polls...and specifically, of spreading misinformation. So many readers/viewers depend on news for what they assume to be credible, truthful, dependable info. Imagine if elementary school teachers or even regular joe schmos really believed the poll's information to be true, shared the info and then caused a whirlwind impact on what is already an uninformed society. We know too many people watch too much t.v. and we know too many people impart what they watch and read into their own truth telescopes---the least the media can do is better research and better truth telling.



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