Author Topic: A truer, fairer picture of the flood disasters that have befallen us  (Read 5565 times)

Joe Carillo

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My critique of the language and mathematics used in the flood-disaster reportage last October 16 of one of the Metro Manila broadsheets (“Highly politicized physics and faulty news reporting”) has drawn responses not only from Forum members but also from one of the expert sources of the news story in question. The response of the expert source, a geologist who belongs to the science group AGHAM, was carried by the Prometheus Unbound column in the October 23, 2009 issue of The Manila Times under the title “Boxes, estimation and politics.” For the benefit of Forum members who have been following the thread of responses to my original critique, I provided a link to that column in My Media English Watch that same day. For Forum members to get an even fuller perspective of my position about how the flood disaster was being reported and being seized upon by various groups to further their respective agenda, I am now also providing a permanent link to my previous column in The Manila Times last October 10 on the same subject, “The need for some science in our thinking.”

Even before I came across the published response of the expert source to my critique of the flood-disaster news story, I had already written and sent out to The Manila Times my column for the October 24 issue summarizing my critique in this Forum about that particular flood-disaster story. As it turns out and without my meaning to, that column of mine, “A case of flawed metaphors and bad math,” is practically a point-by-point rejoinder to the indirect, often oblique objections to my critique that were expressed by the expert source in her column. I have not changed a single word in that column of mine even after I had read the response of the expert source, and I am now providing a link to that column for the benefit of the Forum members.

As an observer of media, I feel that that some media outlets and political personalities have tended in recent weeks to overly sensationalize and politicize their accounts and interpretations of the recent flood disasters that had befallen the Philippines. I hope that the discussions generated by my critique and analysis in this Forum and in my columns in The Manila Times have helped create a clearer, truer picture of our recent collective misfortunes. I am also glad to note that in its October 23 issue, the newspaper that carried the flood-disaster story in question came out with a very well-thought-out, well-reasoned editorial, “Breaking the dam,” that considered the views of all sectors concerned with a remarkable sense of objectivity and fairness.   

Read “Highly politicized physics and faulty news reporting” now!

Read ““Boxes, estimation and politics” in The Manila Times now!

Read “The need for some science in our thinking” in The Manila Times now!

Read “A case of flawed metaphors and bad math” in The Manila Times now!

Read “Breaking the Dam” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer now!