Thursday, June 14, 2018

News in the Post about “praise” and “misery” during an electric power outage in this City of Lake Worth.

UPDATE: At the end of this blog post is the latest about that Zombie Alert “DUE TO EXTREME ZOMBIE ACTIVITY” on May 20th, a very brief electric outage that made world-wide news.

But the month prior it was an entirely different story. . .

First came the praise for PBSO’s performance here in the City of Lake Worth during an electric power outage on Monday, April 9th that continued into Tuesday morning. However, the ‘misery’ from the editor(s) at The Palm Beach Post marched on. The news below is from before Gatehouse Media finalized the purchase of that newspaper on May 1st, ironically also the day called May Day (not to be confused with Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!).

As much as PBSO was outstanding during that outage, our little City was still plagued by terrible headlines laced with “misery” by the headline editor at the Post. Before we get to the ‘misery’ let’s take a look at the praise for PBSO:

“They [PBSO] were manning all the railroad tracks in case any signals were down and they also had extra patrols on the streets, making sure everyone was safe and sound,” she [Lake Worth Mayor Pam Triolo] said. “There were no injuries or crime issues at all. [emphasis added] A lot of people felt their presence so it was very comforting.”

Quote. Concluding paragraph from beat reporter Kevin Thompson’s story in The Palm Beach Post print edition dated Wednesday, April 11th, and headlined, “Lake Worth power outage leaves thousands in the dark”.

However, in the online edition on Tuesday, April 10th, was this headline about a “night of misery”:

Lake Worth power outage: Residents suffer through a night of misery

Misery? Here is another excerpt from the article by Thompson which apparently the headline editor didn’t read:

     Mayor Pam Triolo said she was getting ready for bed when the power went out. “It was out until about 6 this morning,” she said. ‘“I slept most of the time. It was warm, but I had a fan on.”
     Maryann Furth said she lost power for about three hours, but that didn’t bother her. “I’m comfortable without air conditioning,” she said. “We were fine.”
     Michael Chase Flack-Fox said he wasn’t even aware the power was off. . . . “There were little or no problems. I slept right through it.”

From The New York Times’ Learning Network, Chapter 5.2: “Headlines: In a Nutshell”:

An inexperienced editor who has trouble writing a headline might be tempted to try to write a headline on a secondary angle of the article, but a good headline is based on the lead. [emphasis added]

So whilst it may be true it was a “night of misery” for some during the power outage last April in this City of Lake Worth — it’s also true it was just a little miserable for others — for example, “ ‘I didn’t break out the generator, I just broke out the battery back up and plugged in my fan,’ she [a Downtown resident] said.” And there were other residents who were hardly affected by the power outage at all.

And there’s more good news about the power outage last April: There was no need for a curfew!

The headline editor at the Post didn’t do that beat reporter any favors back in Jan. 2016 either:
Remember. A proper headline is based on the lead. The reporter did not use the word ‘curfew’ one single time. So why use the word “curfew” in the headline? Maybe to confuse and frighten the public?

Now to the UPDATE:
Click on this link for the latest. And no, there was no curfew during this outage and no ‘Zombies’ either.

But it is good for clickbait!