Good News / Bad News

Yesterday, a local Realtor group released numbers about home sales here, but the two big local newspapers reported on it very differently.  It’s more than a matter of vague interpretation: one said that numbers went up, the other said that numbers went down. 

It’s not that either was wrong: the optimistic headline in the Review-Journal is about how April 2011’s home sales were better than home sales were a year ago, in April 2010.  The more pessimistic Sun story simply compares April 2011 to March 2011, which had higher sales.  Frankly, the Sun story seems more relevant: though comparing numbers to the same time last year might have merits, it also looks like a cheap way to selectively report what you want to see, even if it’s not the full truth.  Or maybe I’m just cynical.

Not that this is a big deal at all–I just thought it was funny to see two such contradictory reports at the same time about the same thing. 

Glass half full


Glass half empty

5 comments on “Good News / Bad News

  1. And you Huston, would you characterize yourself as a half-full or half-empty kind of guy. No right or wrong answer. Just curious.

  2. Both comparisons (previous month vs. same time last year) have merit, but this serves best as an example of how low the quality of reporting is these days. The tabloids are just looking for snazzy headlines. Content? Who cares.

    And it’s just as much the fault of the consumers of such “infotainment” as its publishers. Demand creates the supply, not the other way around.

  3. Some things, like home sales follow cyclical natures. Whether or not it’s valid for LV would matter, but reporting a month to month drop in a college town for say August to September would be incredibly deceptive. If the reporter is just unaware of that trend, then I would ask, what business do they have reporting “news.”

    It’s colder today than yesterday, therefore global warming doesn’t exist is just as dumb as it’s hotter today than yesterday and it’s all due to global warming.

  4. Ken, at this point in the school year, I’m just trying to get from “glass is all the way empty, and covered in poisonous germs” back to “glass is half full, but it’s half full of the same stuff that Donald Trump’s half full of.” :)

    Velska, I know–like I said, not a big deal, just thought the contrasting headlines were funny.

    Psycho, also true–the failures of local news are too easy to satirize.

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