Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Journalists and exaggerations

Journalists are expected to report facts without exaggerations. They do not have the liberty to exaggerate. Poets and writers of fiction have the liberty to exaggerate.

“De Villiers was quick to get to the ball, running Dravid out at the striker’s end by a mile.” (Aditya Iyer – Gambhir, Tendulkar keep India in hunt – The Indian Express – 4/1/2011.)

“While television replays showed that the ball would’ve jumped the stumps by a mile, umpire Asad Rauf couldn’t resort to such technological luxuries, dismissing de Villiers for a patient 33.” (Aditya Iyer – Durban Legend – The Indian Express – 30/12/2010.)

A mile has eight furlongs. A furlong has 220 yards. A yard has three feet. A foot has 12 inches. Cricket pitch is of 22 yards. Rahul Dravid was away from the striker’s end by some inches or feet but not by a mile. In A. B. de Villiers’ case the ball could have jumped the stumps by some inches but not by a mile.

Once there was a murder in Malad. A report mentioned the body was cut into 300 pieces. Did the reporter count the pieces?

At the end of December 2010 many flights in USA were cancelled. NDTV 24 X 7 reported ”Tons of flights cancelled.” Not dozens. Not hundreds. Since when flights are measured in tons?

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