Reporter's Notebook

The art and science of the interview

The Death Toll Continues to Rise

leave a comment »

Chinese Explosion

This is a quickie.

At 7 a.m. PST, the West Coast version of CBS This Morning reported on the explosions at a chemical plant in China.  They said that 50 people had been killed.  At 1 p.m. PST, NPR News reported the death toll at that chemical plant was 50 and climbing.  At 7 p.m. PST, NPR News reported again that the death toll was 50.

The later newscast didn’t say the death toll was climbing and it didn’t give a higher number of deaths.  In fact, as of the later NPR newscast, the death toll seemed to have remained unchanged throughout the day.

But it is the earlier NPR newscast I am writing about.  If a death toll is 50 “and climbing”, how did NPR News know it was climbing?  And if it was climbing, shouldn’t the number have been some greater number other than 50?

It is very likely that there are people in extremely critical condition who probably will not survive.  But as of the later newscast, they apparently hadn’t yet died and their deaths hadn’t been reflected in updated numbers.  So I don’t know why, against available evidence and reporting, NPR News said the number was climbing.

Advertisements

Written by Interviewer

August 14, 2015 at 10:11

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: