Hello? NBC?

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Hello? NBC?

It's not like 30 Rockefeller Center is the other side of the world from Westhampton Beach, so what's NBC's excuse for this?

"On the morning of Nov. 14, 2006, the pilot, Paul Dudley, took off from Linden Airport in New Jersey to fly to Westhampton Beach Airport on southeastern Long Island in his 28-year-old Cessna.

It's normally a 100-mile trip that takes about 35 to 40 minutes in the aircraft...."

As the crow flies... and a Cessna 172 can fly like that... it's approximately 84 miles between Linden and Gabreski Airport.

(And yes, with a Cessna 172's cruising speed of 140 mph, that 84 mile trip would take about 35 to 40 minutes.)

What I'm really wondering about, though, is what the pilot's almost five-year-old event in a small fixed-wing aircraft has to do with this afternoon's helicopter crash into the East River?

NBC also seems to have some confusion about exactly what happened in 2006 as well:

"Dudley landed his plane in an empty field in the park, taxiing about 150 feet before coming to a stop.

No one was hurt, and the chopper was not damaged."

(Psssst! "Plane" and "chopper" are not interchangeable.)

WNBC's hasty and inaccurate reportage aside, someone went for a helicopter ride with her family to celebrate her 40th birthday and died... that's a tragedy.

Four other people survived the helicopter crash into 50 feet of river... and that's fortunate if not miraculous.


1. Marty Baker said...

Dean - Give them a break. At least they spelled Westhampton Beach right.

Well, there is that....

But why link to/report the five-year-old event? Are they attempting to suggest that they've "busted" an unsafe or inept pilot?

2. Rob F. said...

I think what you're seeing is just what has become standard journalism practice in the age of easy data retrieval, lazy reporters and absentee editors. The reporter will typically search for the names of people involved in a story and incorporate any information retrieved from a prior news story, regardless of its relevance. In the same vein, the reporter will do a search for similar stories (e.g., small plane crashes in the area) over the last several years, which information is often incorporated into a sidebar story or at least an accompanying chart or table. Analysis, such as suggesting an inept pilot, is usually beyond the responsibilities (and often, the capabilities) of the reporter.

And here we have a cogent, and likely correct, analysis of this very matter. Thank you!

I don't know which medium irks me more of late, print or broadcast. Probably the latter because the way the teaser "blurbs" are inserted (invariably in highly urgent tones) into the prime time shows. Aside from the annoyance factor, it's becoming increasingly intellectually dishonest as local stations will inflate and distort in a ten second blurb in an effert to keep the viewer tuned to their late "news" program.
– Dean

3. Frank Wheeler said...

Since you're always citing it as sources for one thing or another, I've noticed this more and more on 27East lately.

Late last month they had a "story" on-line for almost 8 hours (about a guy who crashed into a police car) which had no real information, the who-what-why-when-where which I always thought was one of journalism's basic standards. I made comment about this aspect of it and got jumped on by editors and other readers alike.

Yesterday they had a story on-line about a guy charged with a sex crime with "a child younger than 11 years old," and were allowing reader Comments, most of which they had to censor because of their (highly predictable) nature. I put in my own two cents, not about the guy who was arrested, but that 27East was violating one of its own policies by even permitting Comments. Later they removed all of them and locked the topic.

It's about the lack of standards and inconsistant policies!

Yes, I hear you... but I would also suggest that your own critical style might have had something to do with the responses to the crash story.

The current thing I don't understand at all... perhaps they lack a "Web Editor" who has to clear all on-line stories.
– Dean

4. Jeanne Speir said...

Regarding Rob F's cogent analysis, of course. What do you expect from the guy who submitted Nobel level research on Easter Peeps?

Good grief! I remember that... but I don't remember where it was mounted.

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