Monday, March 8, 2010

Nature says "Asili", ABC says "Mwamba" - jambo ambalo si kweli

Update 23/3/2010-see outcome below
ABC HEADLINE: "Scientists discover ancient dinosaur ancestor" Posted Online news 5 March 2010

ABC REPORTED: An un-authored report covers the recent discovery of a dinosaur-like creature that roamed Earth at least 10 million years earlier than the oldest known dinosaur. The discovery was reported in Nature HERE.

The ABC report concludes: "The names asilisaurus kongwe comes from "asili," which means "founder" in Swahili, "sauros", the Greek for "lizard", and "kongwe," Swahili for "ancient".

THE COMPLAINT: As stated in the actual article the etymology of the name is derived thus "Etymology. From asili, Swahili for ancestor or foundation, and sauros, Greek for lizard; kongwe, Swahili for ancient.

The online Swahili - English translator ( indicates the Swahili word for founder is "Mwamba". Clearly the dinosaur is named "Asilisaurus kongwe" and not "mwambasaurus kongwe".

Please correct the report to include the etymology stated in the original Nature article.
ABC ED POL 5.2.2 Accuracy

OUTCOME: Thank you for your emails of 6 and 8 March, regarding the ABC News online report Scientists discover ancient dinosaur ancestor.
Your concerns have been investigated by Audience and Consumer Affairs, a unit which is separate to and independent of program making areas within the ABC.  We have reviewed the broadcast, assessed it against the ABC’s editorial standards and sought and considered material provided by ABC News. 
I am advised by ABC News management that the error originated in the copy supplied to the ABC by its partner news agency AFP.  The ABC News online editor has corrected the report and brought the error to the attention of AFP.
Please be assured that your comments have been brought to the attention of ABC News management.  For your reference, the ABC’s Editorial Policies are available online at:

COMMENT: Nature says "asili", ABC says "Mwamba" - jambo ambalo si kweli

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