Localized storm-triggered mudslides, engulfing cars and trucks 80 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles late last week, pointed out to Grumpy Editor that print and (especially) broadcast newsrooms apparently don’t consult maps these days.
Reporters and editors thus get mixed up in directions and locations, relaying faulty information and causing confusion to readers/viewers.
Check these misleading print/broadcast headline examples:
Dramatic photos of the mudslides that stranded L.A. drivers
Powerful storm slamming Southern California --- and it’s not over
Heavy rain causes mudslides across Southern California
Southern California digs out of mudslides
Many radio stations with on-the-hour news and television evening news programs based their reports on a wire service story that put the fuzzy location of roadway mud on “a section of Interstate 5 north of Los Angeles.” The wire story also described the “flooding” was “brought on by a storm system that produced heavy rainfall across the region.”
First off, the storm --- localized in a section of Kern County (geographically, located in the southern part of California's Central Valley) --- did not affect Los Angeles which recorded zero precipitation and thus L.A. drivers were motoring along in sunshine.
Main area affected was on busy east-west state highway 58 between Bakersfield and Tehachapi where close to 200 cars and 75 tractor-trailers were trapped by mudslides flowing from higher elevations.
Flooding and backups closed a south-of-Bakersfield section of heavily-traveled Interstate 5 that runs from Los Angeles to the San Francisco area, and beyond.
Thus, the local storm in Kern County did not “slam Southern California” and “Southern Californians were not digging out of mudslides.”
A TV network (which definitely needs to check a California map in its newsroom), alarmed viewers with, “Cars were stuck in place on Los Angeles highways Thursday night amid mudslides caused by flash flooding and thunderstorms.”
It appeared some broadcast and print editors were gearing up for the widely predicted upcoming El Nino. One TV network, looking weeks ahead for more heavy rain coupled with mudslides and homes sliding down hills, mentioned:
“This El Nino season is expected to be as strong as the one that swept into Southern California in 1997.
IN CASE YOUR FAVORITE NEWS OUTLETS MISSED THESE…
North Korea is capable of hitting the United States with a long-range nuclear missile, warned Adm. William Gortney, commander of the U.S. Northern Command. Amplifying that a few days later, a Wall Street Journal editorial Saturday cited “North Korea could have as many as 100 nuclear bombs within five years and may already be able to mount warheads on missiles capable of reaching the United States.” Meanwhile, after a White House meeting Friday with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, President Barack Obama said the U.S. is ready to negotiate with North Korea as it has with Iran, but Pyongyang has to be serious about abandoning nuclear weapons. This was followed by word from North Korea on Saturday that the communist nation rejected the idea of resuming talks to end its nuclear program.
The Labor Department noted plunging gasoline prices as a key factor in no inflation and thus, no 2016 cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for millions of Social Security recipients, disabled veterans and federal retirees. More precisely, gasoline prices last month fell 9 percent, biggest drop since January, after declining 4.1 percent in August but food prices rose 0.4 percent, largest increase since May, 2014, after rising 0.2 percent the prior month. Also rising was the rental index, up 0.4 percent, after advancing 0.3 percent in August...Separately, with some questioning the tally, the Labor Department said the number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell to a 42-year low.
China has edged past the U.S. in the number of billionaires with 242 added in the past year, upping its total to 596, surpassing the U.S.'s 537...A Washington Post headline: White wines may be just as good for you as red (in some ways, at least)…Playboy will unveil its redesign with the March issue that will feature a larger size plus heavier, higher quality paper --- but no nudes…In denouncing “Truth,” CBS nixed running commercials for the film in which Robert Redford plays ex-CBS newsman Dan Rather who was involved in a discredited 2004 news story on former President George W. Bush's military service record…A hot-selling Halloween item in Mexico this year is an unflattering Donald Trump mask.
FROM THE POLICE BLOTTER: A burglar entered through a doggie door at a residence of vacationing homeowners, drank a lot of booze, spent time searching for jewelry and even used the toilet (and not flushing) over several hours. Even slept in a bed.
Yes, a security service, alerted by sensors, dispatched a guard.
He rang the door bell.
No one answered.
So he departed.