Monday, November 10, 2014

Incredible cost escalation or incredibly bad reporting?

I listened to TV3 News coverage of the Glenn Inquiry report wondering why the media never questions the info they are fed in press releases (see previous post).

But it gets worse than just repeating spoon fed lines.

The reporter worriedly asserted:

The Glenn Inquiry warns if child abuse and domestic violence aren't curbed in 10 years' time, it will cost New Zealand $80 billion a year. 

That would be around 44% of the country's GDP!!  Didn't anyone writing or reading this news item say, hang on a minute, that can't be right.

The original Glenn Inquiry media statement said:

At this rate, the accumulated costs over the next 10 years could approach $80 billion.

In part I blame the authors of the original statement for using tricky means to blow up costs. But for TV3 to misread and report the statistics so poorly is pathetic.


Eric Crampton said...

A sense of scale would be pretty helpful for journos. Rolling up costs over a ten year period... wasn't that a trick in the Oz series The Hollow Men?

JC said...

It gets worse.. the $7 billion figure was based on a critical mistake in one paper.

Then it gets worse again as "experts" decided the actual figures produced from evidence weren't high enough for them so they pumped them up with guesses.