13 October 2006

Do you want the good news or the bad news?

An interesting perspective on the "news" from our 14-year-old son. We were watching a BBC report on the Health Service which proclaimed, (as the web version does here) that "Half of NHS trusts 'must improve'". Our son, ever the mathematician, shot back:

"But that means that half of them are doing OK!"

It seems that for the BBC, the glass is always half-empty!

Meanwhile on the same day, the Corporation reported on the "failure" of the scheme allowing early release from prison in the UK in conjunction with electronic tagging - "Tagged offenders went on to kill."

Of course murder and violent crime is always truly dreadful, but you would have to read or listen very carefully indeed to glean that, in fact, re-offending rates for those released under the tagging scheme are considerably better than those released directly. I'm guessing that many of those released untagged also went on to kill.

The BBC is required to report in a balanced way - perhaps the balance is askew? Why give us the good news, when it can be presented as bad?

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