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March 14, 2005

Iron Blog: Battle 'Objective Journalism'

Look guys, I made your favorite science. Mmmm, science.

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I'm really enjoying your Challenge Dishes so far, Lindsay! I think this one was the best yet.

Nice commentary.

I've got an example of how this sort of this sort of weak coverage filters down to local media.

A bottling company coveted water from a neighboring county. They hired a firm to study the water supply and write a report on whether it would dry up springs and lower the water table.

Naturally, the report said that the company could pump as much as they'd like without hurting the water table. The company, now Nestle, trumpeted this report when the local folks got up in arms.

The local folks sued, and the entire region was shocked to learn that the company's operations were indeed lowering the water table.

All of the reporting leading up to the decision was strictly he said/she said, without vetting the quality of expertise, or whether money might have influenced the outcome of the initial study.

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