Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Feng Shui expert. What next, a professor of pixie dust?

ABC REPORTED: ABC reporter and apparent Feng Shui aficionado Thea Cowie  reports that a Feng Shui expert, Elizabeth Wiggins, suggest three types of luck have t align in order for such events (ie winning the lotto) to occur, including earth luck, heaven luck and man luck.

THE COMPLAINT: ABC NEWS WATCH checked the date, no not April 1. Then we checked ABC editorial policies for news and current affairs content. A number of sections caught our eye: 

5.1.3 The ABC does this by working within the best practice of investigative journalism.
Remaining independent of sectional interests, the ABC pursues issues of public
interest through innovative and reliable journalism. 
Does this report constitute investigative journalism?

5.1.4 News records what is happening. Facts and context dominate. News will
often include analysis.
What analysis is contained in this report?

5.2.2 (c) Be accurate.
Is ABC news seriously suggesting that gluing a coin to a doorstop will affect one's chances of winning the lottery?

We request that this article include a statement to the effect that "Feng shui today is widely considered a pseudoscience, and has been criticised by many organisations devoted to investigating paranormal claims. For example, James Randi describes feng shui as "an ancient form of claptrap", while SkepticsSA describe it as "complete nonsense, nothing more than ancient Chinese superstitions". Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui#Criticism

OUTCOME: Pending

COMMENT: The ABC's own comments on this story suggest ANW was not the only one left unimpressed with ABC reporting:

23 Feb 2010 1:09:17pm
Feng Shui "expert"? What next, a professor of pixie dust? Why is the ABC giving this tosh air time? Why don't we see a story on all the people doing the "right" things according to the "experts" who have never won lotto? Perhaps it's because it is too common to warrant a mention.

Mr Logic:
23 Feb 2010 1:16:23pm
If you believe this, you probably think the Global Financial Crisis was caused by an upturned horsehoe or because we forgot to sacrifice a goat.

23 Feb 2010 1:35:20pm
In the old days when we left some money on the front porch magically the next morning there would be a bottle or two of milk sitting there...worked a charm.

In these days of scientific advancement when we have proved that the "experimental method" is the best barometer of truth how can mainstream newspapers still print such rubbish. Between this and Mary MacKillip you would think we are still in the Middle Ages.
We have to stop the superstition and only report news that is based on solid evidence, or at the very least, show a bit of skepticism.

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