From: Dan Bisbee
Date: Aug 19, 2005 12:32 PM
Subject: [NTSR] Skewed Reporting
Thanks for posting the newspaper report Rupert. A few months ago Motorcycle Consumer News had an article on how newspaper articles are skewed against motorcycles. This one is no different. After reading just one sentence of the report I found 5 items in it.
As (Gertrude) Lamb was attempting to take the left turn from the northbound lane of route 89 at 4:32 p.m. she was struck by a 2001 Triumph driven by Adam Bell, 32, of W. Plain St. Wayland, Mass.
1. First word is "As" This picks up the situation in the middle. Makes it sound like things were already in progress before Adam showed up
2. "Lamb was attempting". The passive verb "was" lessens the action. "Attempting" makes her sound like a victim. "She was just trying " to turn.
3. "to take the left turn: Prepositional phrase She was taking the turn. "Taking" not "making" not "turning left" she was "taking" the left turn. Sounds like it was always there. She was simply taking it. Again, less action. The use of "the" is also curious. Not "a" left turn "the" left turn. Kind of gives more authority to the turn. Which turn? "The" turn.
4. "She was struck" "Was Struck" makes it sound as if she was sitting there and this mean motorcycle hit her.
5. "by a 2001 Triumph" A machine struck her, not a person but a machine. Makes the makes Adam appear less human.
Dan's version using the same number of words. (that could safely appear in the paper)
"Gertrude Lamb attempted to turn left from the northbound lane of route 89 at 4:32 p.m. She crossed into the oncoming lane and collided with Adam Bell, 32, of W. Plain St. Wayland, Mass. riding a 2001 Triumph."
Yes, they are out to get us.
Dan in VT (Mom was an English Teacher)
'46 Farmall A