Wednesday, July 03, 2013

An editor reads the paper, July 3, 2013

A few other things from the larder:

1) Don't make your readers go backward or connect the dots, even in a photo caption.


Reworked: Gaffney's L.J. Peak, with microphone, announces his intent to play college athletics at Georgetown, while Shaq Davidson will play at USC.  (You can't see the crowd, so why mention it?)


2) Watch the numbers - it's mostly just common sense. Consider this excerpt from a Sunday story:

 Fort Jackson has 3,500 civilian workers, who collectively are paid $51 million annually. The 20 percent furlough for the remainder of the fiscal year means those workers will have $2.55 million less to spend on gas, food, entertainment and other commodities. Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter employs another 1,340 civilian workers with a payroll of $59 million. The furloughs will cost Sumter’s local economy $2.95 million this year.

So how does a military base with 1,300 workers have a larger payroll than one with 3,500? And if you do simple division, it suggests the average per-capita salary at the fort is about $14,500 while at the air base it's $44,000. As you might suspect, the average salaries are about the same, and the Fort Jackson payroll is about $155 million. Don't let big numbers make your eyes glaze over - do simple math to break them down into understandable chunks.

(As of this writing, the wrong information is still online - another data point that too many newsrooms still don't get it - while the story was corrected in the paper this morning. Which one do you think can do more to spread inaccurate information?)

3) And not to pick only on my local paper (really, I love you all), this recent story from WLTX-TV was just a mess:

 More than 100 residents are not sitting well with a house committee decision to pass a controversial animal care bill.

Tuesday dozens of residents packed a agriculture house committee meeting, most in opposition of a bill that would limit nonprofit shelters to provide certain kinds of vaccinations to animals.

The sub-committee voted four-zero; passing the bill to the full board. Some veterinarians say this bill will even the playing field between private practices and non profits.

"It will absolutely hurt the animals. This is the most detrimental thing that could happen," said Deloris Mungo with Palmetto Lifeline.

"It has very broad language that is going to restrict what I am able to do," said Janet McKim.

Critics of the bill say it is poorly written, Janet McKim is a veterinarian at a shelter in Charleston.

 "If I don't treat it I am at risk of malpractice but if I do treat it I can be practicing outside the law, so it puts me at an extraordinarily difficult situation."

Those in support of the bill say that this is to level the playing field. But Mungo said restricting residents to only use vets to get their pets spayed or neutered is not fair.

"I have very good veterinarians but I should have the right to go to a private vet if I want to or go to a low cost spay neuter clinic if I want," Mungo said.

Richland County Representative Kirkman Finlay voted for the bill. He says the bill is needed but they need to bring more people to the table to make a fair compromise.

"Groups that are directly supported by the government that are perceived to be in direct competition with these vets are the crux of the issue. The vets are saying we are paying for our competition to come undercut us in price and that's always an issue," Finlay said.

Those in opposition says private businesses compete with non profits in every venue and they feel that this shouldn't be one that changes.

"We shouldn't be dictated to who is going to do our surgeries and how much we are going to have to pay," Mungo said.
Here's a rework. You can decide:


Dozens of opponents are upset with a South Carolina House subcommittee decision to approve an animal-care bill that would keep shelters from spaying or neutering pets.

People packed a House Agriculture subcommittee meeting Tuesday, most opposing the bill. It would limit nonprofit shelters to providing vaccinations and spaying or neutering services only to lower-income people adopting pets. All others would have to go to a veterinarian.

The subcommittee, on a 4-0 vote, sent the bill to the full Agriculture Committee. Some veterinarians say this bill will even the playing field between private practices and nonprofits, but critics say it is poorly written.

"It will absolutely hurt the animals. This is the most detrimental thing that could happen," said Deloris Mungo with Pawmetto Lifeline in Columbia. Janet Kim, a veterinarian at a Charleston shelter, complained that it has "very broad language that is going to restrict what I am able to do."

"If I don't treat it, I am at risk of malpractice, but if I do treat it, I can be practicing outside the law, so it puts me at an extraordinarily difficult situation," she said.

Mungo says restricting people to using only vets to get their pets spayed or neutered is not fair.

"I have very good veterinarians, but I should have the right to go to a private vet if I want to or go to a low-cost spay-neuter clinic if I want," Mungo said.

Rep. Kirkman Finlay, R-Richland, voted for the bill but said more people need to be involved in negotiating a compromise.

"Groups that are directly supported by the government that are perceived to be in direct competition with these vets are the crux of the issue. The vets are saying we are paying for our competition to come undercut us in price, and that's always an issue," Finlay said.

Opponents says private businesses and nonprofits compete in many areas.

"We shouldn't be dictated to who is going to do our surgeries and how much we are going to have to pay," Mungo said.

Have a happy Fourth.

Labels: , , , ,

2 Comments:

At 7/9/13, 2:51 PM, Anonymous www.chibambakayula.wordpress.com said...

im a journo student and i find this blog VERY HELPFUL..

 
At 7/9/13, 4:13 PM, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Glad you find it useful. -D

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home