TV news people have a tough job. They have to boil down complicated topics into just a few minutes, and try to couple it with interesting visuals, too. TV reporters frequently are thrown into a lot of stories every day, and they're expected to be experts on a ton of topics. It's not easy. So when they do their job well, they deserve applause. That said, this story from CBS Channel 4 in Miami is poorly done. Like a lot of TV coverage of environmental issues , it's too simplistic, too one-sided, and unnecessarily alarmist. The story is headlined "Poison Plastic?" on the station's Web site, and it looks like it's largely the result of some video featuring cartoon character Sam Suds that the station got from the Centers for Health and Environmental Justice, a group that opposes PVC. It also quotes Patty Kodish, who the story describes as an international health advocate who is starting a Florida environmental coalition. The biggest problems with the story are the lack of context and overgeneralizations about PVC. The story also needs a stronger response from someone who can speak with more authority on PVC's record, although in this case I think the "other side" of the story probably would have been buried. How can an industry expert talking about science compete with a talking cartoon duck?
The worst of TV news
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