February 14th, 2003


Objectivity and the news

When I was at Netscape there was an internal newsgroup devoted to griping about the company. During the Microsoft lawsuit the newsgroup was used as "evidence" in the trial.

Eventually someone decided he'd seen enough negativity and formed a positivity newsgroup. I subscribed to it and learned a lot about human nature.

One of the things that used to get to people was when newscasters would put an unnecessary negative spin on the day's forecast. "We're going to have lousy weather," they'd say. "It's going to be cloudy."

Some folks like cloudy days. A cloudy day means you can go outside without being blinded by the sun. Cloudy weather is great for biking, photographing people and pets, or just plain hanging out.

From that day forward, whenever I've read a weather forecast on the air (I'm a part-time radio news anchor), I've made it a point to not put a bias on the weather.