Saturday, February 26, 2011

Altogether Different Meanings

Here’s another fire story for you. A teenager was arrested for setting fire to some stuff in a Wal-Mart garden center. On its web site, our top-notch local news station reported this:

“…Wal-Mart reported to the fire department an estimated loss of $150,000. That is based on fire and water damage and lost business. 

There’s no typos here, but take note of that last sentence. The monetary loss includes actual damage and lost business.

The problem came from one of the station’s own top-notch news anchors, who reported on that day’s broadcast:

“…the fire damaged $150,000 in merchandise.”

Whoa! There’s a huge difference in meaning between these two reports – actual damages plus lost business as opposed to damaged merchandise. Yet they are from the very same station.

Accuracy in reporting. What a concept.

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