Poor reporting or lazy journalism?

The BBC web site finally reported the phone outage that hit the island yesterday. Like the Channel TV article it was poorly reported with little detail. Cable & Wireless’ news portal decided not to run the story at all although an apology can be found at their corporate site.

Lets look at the BBC article and break it down. I’m not having a particular go at the BBC or really even C&W just looking at how reporters play their personal tone through selection or words and selective omission of facts;

Island telephone fault repaired

A temporary fault that left thousands of telephones in Guernsey unavailable has been corrected.

Temporary, repaired and corrected. Assuring you the problem is gone. This is only true because the BBC are reporting it 18 hours late. This assurance is useless because anything that can happen once can happen again.

The fault, which affected numbers beginning with the digits seven, two-zero and two-four, was repaired early on Monday evening.

Note how there is no indication of when it went down – 2:54pm – or that lines were down for up to 4 hours.

They also fail to mention that these numbers cover the majority of the business and residential lines on the island. The only numbers NOT affected were those beginning with 23, 25 and 26 which are St. Andrew’s, St. Martin’s, Castel and Torteval – all rather rural areas.

Mobiles could not call out of the island so the problem actually hit more services than they are reporting.

Network operator Cable & Wireless said a power fault caused the problem to the island’s telephones.

Here they point at a power problem – possibly to mentally send you along the lines of a problem elsewhere. It wasn’t, it was their own equipment and C&W’s article at least doesn’t try to escape that blame.

While the phones were out of action, emergency calls were diverted through Jersey’s telephone system.

Here we are led to believe emergency calls were not affected. I believe, although have not yet found evidence to support, that emergency calls were down for a short while before the Jersey switch over took place.

Cable & Wireless’ news article further assures us that;

We are carrying out a full and thorough investigation into this problem and taking all necessary steps to ensure this does not happen again.

But there is no indication they will share their findings with the public. This is likely the last you’ll ever hear about it unless it happens again.


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