The Longest Now

Completely unbelievable news
Sunday July 10th 2005, 5:14 am
Filed under: %a la mod

How can anyone believe such undersourced and marginally informative
news?  “450 sheep jump to their death” — a fascinating
story.  I want to know more.  Will I ever discover more in
the English-language media?  In any media?  Probably
not.  This was probably treated as a tabloid story by its original
(Turkish) reporters, and by its translators. Immediately classified as
filling some “social interest” slot that must be filled each day.

What original reporter went to the trouble of getting 3 tiny fragments
of data, along with excerpts from a Turkish paper, without finishing
the story or talking directly to the original reporter?  Only the
title of the source paper was mentioned; I couldn’t find the article
myself by searching quickly through the Aksam paper’s online version.

How many sheep were in the flock?  How many shepherds were at
lunch when the sheep began to jump, at what time of day?  How high
was the cliff?  What was the weather like?  Did the entire
flock jump?  Are there any recorded precedents for this?  I see micro stories like this via Reuters and AP all
the time which I discount completely… if they are real news, I want
to know that, for goodness’ sake.  I don’t enjoy being cynical about unusual stories; but there has yet to be a system of accountability that I trust.

Completely unbelievable news …

2 Comments so far
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Thanks, sj. That one made me think a little harder (which always makes my day a bit brighter).

Comment by Seth 07.11.05 @ 1:30 am

Excellent. I wish I could send a copy to the original article’s authors, but there is not mechanism for that for wire stories…

Comment by sj 07.14.05 @ 11:04 am

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