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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 emergency.
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.
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?
A large part of this is because real journalism is actually deader than disco.
The internet has basically reduced journalism to a near valueless field and we're paying the price for it. As much as it's tempting to call this an American issue, it really isn't. I've seen utter nonsense even from local news sources.