Sunday, November 13, 2011

Heisenberg uncertainty principle in defense of news agency reporting

On both sides of the communications barricades news agency reporting is often compared to producing commodities. At RIA Novosti top editors often use the phrase 'sausage factory' to illustrate our way of making newswires. There are two strong points in favor of such approach – consistency of content and balance of its accuracy.

Heisenberg uncertainty principle states that you can accurately measure physical particle's position or its momentum (velocity, given the mass is known too), but not both at once.

With news agency reporting you're also most likely to start a news story by knowing accurately either time of an event or its causes. For example, if we know what caused a critical malfunction of a satellite, we may not know for sure when and where it would fall down. Reporting on a sudden crash of a satellite we won't know the exact reasons for that.

News agency reporters are strong in producing consistent accuracy-balanced content. IMHO, they just can't be beat for simultaneous reporting on developing stories and producing background and insight into them.

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