What's wrong with Y2K reporting?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


The headline to the link above is "Non-Y2K computer malfunction delays Monday evening flights along the East Coast." When you read the article, you find that Jim Peters, spokesman for the FAA says "Without knowing what has caused the problem, it would be premature to speculate," he said. "It may turn out to be something other than Y2K."

Most obviously, where do these reporters come up with the headlines? It isn't true at all. Peters clearly doesn't say the problem was "Non-Y2K", he says it's too soon to speculate. This exposes the media's strenuous efforts all along to play down, and even "spin" the issues. I can understand why businesses wouldn't want to admit problems, but why does the media climb in their back pockets instead of being objective?

Secondly, I realize that not all of the problems being talked about here or in the mainstream media are actually Y2K problems, but it's equally true that not ALL of these problems are NON-Y2k. We know that the Y2K technological problem is real (I do because I'm an IT Consultant), so why is it so hard to believe that some or many of these problems are, in fact, caused by Y2K errors? It seems to expose questionable motives.

I know the "pollys" (I don't like either of the terms "doomer" or "polly", but this is the language we've come up with) have some answers to my questions, and that's fine. I'm just asking that we all look at things a little more objectively instead of trying to support our own level of preparation for this year. It's difficult to get honest info with the situation companies are in, but we can be absolutely positive that there are, and will be, Y2K-related glitches surfacing throughout the year. I guess it's up to us as individuals to read between the lines of the reports, or at least read the actual artice carefully instead of just surfing the headlines - because the headlines don't always tell the real story.


-- EricE (ready@for.anything), January 04, 2000


Eric, Wall Street runs everything. This is especially true of the American Mainstream Media. They decided long ago not to startle the American stock buying public with FUD (Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt). Virually all FUD is sanitized from these stories before release. They especially like to give the non-FUD headline and then include a little FUD somewhere after the 3rd paragraph (just for journalistic integrity). This results in less than 10% of the readers of the article ever receiving any FUD at all.

-- Think It (Through@Pollies.Duh), January 04, 2000.

"I can understand why businesses wouldn't want to admit problems,why does the media climb in their back pockets instead of being objective?"

Ummm... ever hear of a little thing called "Advertising"? That is, afterall, what keeps "the media" going, pays the bills.

-- (dot@dot.dot), January 04, 2000.

But companies have to advertise to stay in business. Even if the media was trashing them, they'd really have no choice. Are they gonna move all their advertising to newspapers, magazines and yahoo, or what

-- Realist (don't@want.spam), January 04, 2000.

Perhaps there's a legal issue here. If they headline a failure as "Y2K" or even "possibly Y2K" then they might find themselves on the end of a lawsuit by a company who don't want their insurers to get the "wrong" idea.

OK, probably doesn't apply to the FAA, but it could be an example of a general principle.

-- Servant (public_service@yahoo.com), January 05, 2000.

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