posted on Oct, 25 2013 @ 02:54 AM
Over the past couple of weeks, the Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria have been victims of serious bushfires. In an attempt
to report on the bushfires, the American media have failed spectacularly.
The American media outlet, NBC News, misrepresented a map of Australia which detailed all fires in the country at any given time. According to NBC,
every fire on the map represented a bushfire. Moreover, they also allegedly stated that the whole of Australia was New South Wales.
NBC has taken the image from a Geoscience Australia product called Sentinel. Sentinel is a national bushfire monitoring system which uses
satellite data to enable emergency service managers and other users to identify fire locations across Australia.
At any given time, the map will show hazard reduction burns, bushfires which pose no threat to life or property, plus of course much more serious
bushfires like the ones we've seen this week.
That's the mistake which NBC appears to have made. They've taken every fire on the Sentinel map and assumed they are all part of the current
NBC has also more or less assumed that the whole of Australia is NSW, which is disturbing given the network spent pretty much the whole of the Sydney
Olympics camped on the Opera House steps.
If that isn't enough, Time Magazine has also fumbled their reporting on the Australian bushfires.
An earlier version of this article misstated that New South Wales is in southwestern Australia. It is in southeastern Australia.
• An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. She is
Christiana Figueres, not Christina.
• An earlier version of this article misstated the name of a former Prime Minister of Australia. She is Julia Gillard, not Gilliard.
All of which begs the question: Is it that hard for these supposedly reputable American media outlets to write a story getting a few basic facts right
about little old Australia?
What's also despicable on Time's part, is the headline of the above article. 'Climate Change Affects Australia's Epic Wildfires - No Matter What
Prime Minister Says' was the title of the article. And here i thought that journalists were meant to be objective...