24 November 2007

Astounding Arrogance at CBS

UPDATE (5 Dec 2007): Kudos to CBS!

CBS updated their methodology webpage concerning their report on veteran suicides. I found the updated page via a post on their blog, Primary Sources.
Anyway, bottom line is this is an awesome response by CBS! Kudos!

VA's Back-Of-The-Envelope Calculation
We have great confidence in the accuracy of our data and how it was collected and analyzed. Look at our methodology for more information on the care we took in gathering and reporting our data.
I read the methodology posted by CBS. I watched the dramatic reporting. I've criticized it and think they should have great concern - not confidence - about the accuracy of their data, how it was collected, how it was analyzed and how CBS reported it.

I don't believe CBS has any confidence in their report and CBS demonstrates this by withholding the data and analysis from any outside peer review. I also don't believe CBS will make the data and analysis available for review, which is a shame since the data collected alone could be useful in more knowledgeable hands. [I would very much like to be proved wrong on this, CBS, if you're listening.]

I do think that structural bias, "trust me" and "fake but accurate" rules the day at CBS.

More Fun & Games With Stats
Done well, [journalism] has the potential to help us understand our world, our place in it, and how we can operate within it to achieve our personal and collective goals. Done poorly, it can hurt or kill; it can blind us to the truth and cripple our personal and collective abilities to cooperate and achieve.
Seems right to me
Sensationalizing Suicide II
Sensationalizing Suicide

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