Monday, 8 April 2013

More Media Madness

It was a long time ago that it was pointed out to me that if you look at the media coverage of ANY subject about which you have even a little knowledge, then you will find inaccuracies. Thus, those fields about which you know nothing will probably contain errors too. Hence, the well worn expression "never believe what you read in the papers". Even with modern, digital, internet-based media coverage it is sad to report that this statement still holds true. After last weeks coverage of the decline in the British House Sparrow population being illustrated with a picture of an American White-crowned Sparrow (see here), this morning we have this lovely image of two Alpine Choughs soaring above the cloud base in the Alps:

Only that the birds involved are described as Jackdaws. I am fascinated by the process of how this error occurred. Did the photographer pass on the image to the picture agency having misidentified the birds? Did the picture agency look up possible crow species and just get it wrong? Did the Guardian picture editor label it themselves? Either way, it is not difficult to establish that a crow in the Alps with a slim yellow bill is an Alpine Chough. More attention to detail next time please. And don't believe what you read in the papers. 

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