Two examples of why journalism sucks these days

I always read the online version of the SF Chronicle because frankly it is one of the better Northern California papers particularly their online version which isn’t overly bloated by advertising crud and fancy yet unusable GUIs.

However, there are many times the Chronicle represents the worst of what journalism can be.  First up is the biased reporting:

The Gospel according to the Guv

One doesn’t even have to read the article to get what bugs me.  It’s all in the title.  Although the article is not as bad as the title, the reality is that the title makes a big impact on what the reader is expecting.  And one would never see that title if Jeese Jackson went to speak at a church he wasn’t affiliaited with.

Next up, incomplete reporting:

These Condos’ sizes matters

In this article it’s all about the lack of the data needed for the reader to make a good judgement about the two opposing sides.  We’ve got condo buyers who say their condos are smaller than what they said they would be and builders who say the sizes are approximations.  OK, all I need to know now is how big the approximate size was and how big they actually are.  If they’re supposed to be 550 square feet and they’re really 542, get a grip buyer.  If the number is really 487, then I think the buyer has a pretty good case and should be suing.

But no, we never get that.  We get “units ranging from one bedroom and 550 square feet to three bedrooms and 1,653 square feet for between $500,000 and $1 million.” and “We measured one unit out of each plan, and every unit we measured is undervalued”.

That’s just bad reporting/interviewing.  When the guy makes that assertion the follow up question is: “How much undervalued?”  Either they didn’t ask the question or they didn’t like the answer (see first example of biased reporting).  Either way it is bad reporting.

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