全球中央 發行日期:2010-06-01 刊號:18
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記者別自以為了不起

連常識都不足 更別提玩世不恭的批判精神
文 洪健昭 譯 張淑伶

含糊不清的內容 不如不寫

有位曾在台灣最負盛名的大學教新聞寫作的報社編輯,在她還是記者時,寫過一篇有人情味的報導,是關於一群畢業於日據時期台北帝國大學的日籍醫師來台捐血的故事。這報導的開端就是「日昨」,然後描述「幾位」日本醫師到台大醫院捐血的過程,卻彷彿忘了,沒提到明確的時間和人數是新聞寫作的大忌。還有更不明確地,這位記者寫道:「他們捐血捐了一小瓶」,顯然她不知道,捐血是用c.c.數(立方毫米)來衡量的。

Few, if any, reporters in Taiwan are good at math. Their reporting on numbers is almost always wrong. Let’s pick up a report on Taiwan’s foreign trade for a casual checkup. A reporter writes about the trade volume and its breakdown. But when you sum up the numbers in the breakdown, the sum doesn’t – more often than not – tally with the total volume. A news agency reporter once wrote an otherwise good story about the daily protein intake of the people on Taiwan. He cited the number of hogs slaughtered a year and our population. His numbers didn’t tally. Based on the numbers reported, a hog weighed a mere two kilograms or 4.4 pounds.

沒幾個台灣記者把數學學好,哪怕隨手拿份台灣外貿的報導來看看就知道,報導數字常出錯。有記者寫到貿易總額和細目,但你若是把這些細目逐一加起來,通常得到的數目字和他寫的貿易總額不一致。還有個通訊社記者,某次寫到台灣人民的每日蛋白質攝取量,文中提到台灣人口數和每年被屠宰的豬隻數量,這原本是不錯的報導,但其中數據計算不清不楚,根據他的報導,一隻豬只重約兩公斤。

A mass-circulation paper put out a good caption story the other day. The picture shows a folk Taoist temple designated as a historic relic by the Council of Cultural Affairs. The story was not very well told, but worst of all, the reporter didn’t tell the readers where they could find the shrine.

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