Saturday, September 4, 2010

Update: Science literacy: ABC's Doh Doh Doh

Seems ABC agree that that confusing 3 out of 10 with 1 in 3 is an embarrassing mistake to make in a story about science literacy. (Our original post HERE).

Reply received 2 September 2010
I refer to your email of 30 July 2010 regarding a caption accompanying the News Online item ‘Science literacy at risk of extinction’, published the same day.

You are of course correct that the values ‘3 in 10’ and ‘one third’ are not equivalent.  ABC News have explained that picture captions, like headlines, try to capture the essence of a story in just a few words, and this is what occurred in this instance.  While we don’t believe it to be a significant error, in view of the story’s focus on scientific literacy, ABC News have decided to amend the caption to read ‘Nearly a third of people surveyed believed humans walked the Earth with dinosaurs’.

Yours sincerely,  
Head, Audience and Consumer Affairs    
Score +1


  1. Are you sure you should be adding 1 to your score? Given that they don't think it was a significant error, are you sure they've actually upheld your complaint?

    Russell Ballard

  2. Our blog, our rules. ABC made a correction that counts as a score.


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