Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Speaking of "over there"...

Mark Easton, the BBC's home editor, saves the Churner Prize a job on his BBC blog:

After my post on Friday looking at the hospital admission figures for stab and gunshot victims in England, a story was widely reported that knife violence accounts for 14,000 people in Britain being admitted into hospital last year.

You may have seen it in the Independent on Sunday which claimed an exclusive and then almost everywhere else, including the BBC.

Well, I have checked out the story and discovered that the figure includes not only attacks but also accidental injuries from knives and other sharp implements. If one looks only at assaults with sharp objects (stabbings to you and me) the figure for the UK halves to about 7,000.

Yet at the time of writing this, the BBC News story still reports that "An Independent on Sunday investigation suggested that almost 14,000 people a year are injured in knife attacks" which while being the truth - the IOS did suggest that - isn't what you could really call the whole truth.

A one-off blunder or a symptom of blogs being "somewhere over there"?

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