Audit Notes: Chart of the Day, Trayvon Martin Sourcing, Updates

The Atlantic’s Matthew O’Brien pulls the chart of the day from Ireland’s Central Statistics Office:

This shows the change in disposable income for each decile of the Irish population in 2010, after the country’s leaders, who had made one of the all-time stupidest (or most craven) moves ever in assuming the obligations of its giant banks, imposed harsh austerity programs on its people. If you can’t guess, the first decile is the poorest and No. 10 is the richest.


— I wrote Monday on how not to source pictures in an inflamed racial controversy like the Trayvon Martin case.

Good Morning America shows another way:

Martin may have cut a more imposing figure than previously known. Recent pictures on the web and social media show him with gold dental grill and making obscene gestures to the camera.

A seventeen year old making obscene gestures? Get me to the fainting couch!

But anyway, we know that the picture of someone flipping off the cameras was actually not him. When you find yourself sourcing something to “pictures on the web and social media,” that’s a sign you might want to at least hedge your statement. Better yet: don’t make it.

— I want to point you to updates I’ve made on two recent posts.

I criticized Gawker last week for implying that a Journal story said that vaccines don’t work for anyone unless almost everyone gets them. I wrote that vaccinated people are “almost certainly” safe from unvaccinated people with diseases. Seth Mnookin, author of “The Panic Virus,” responds to an email that it’s “a little more nuanced” than that. Read his comments at the bottom of this post.

If I’m going to criticize people for not getting the nuance right then I want to get the nuance right myself.

Second, the other day I noted a Jonathan Weil column that dissected a Center for Public Integrity report on state corruption risk. CPI’s executive director Bill Buzenberg vehemently disagreed with Weil’s column and with my post on it—particularly for me not calling him for comment before blogging about it. See his comment here and my response.

Has America ever needed a media watchdog more than now? Help us by joining CJR today.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum. Tags: , , , ,