Friday, June 15, 2012

Lazy local media

We have an international story in Central Oregon, but you have to read The Oregonian in Portland to get much information.

A Crook County man, apparently in his 50s and has no name, was infected with the bubonic plague from the family's cat after it came back, from a few days' absence, looking ill.

The man is in critical condition at St. Charles Medical Center in Bend.

And that's all we know from local media. The story has shown up on websites in countries throughout the world.

Local media types apparently rely on government handouts for what to report.

Well, how about locating Prineville on a map, drive the 45 miles to get there and make some inquiries.

I'm sure reporters could find where this man lived. They could talk to his family and his neighbors.

Representatives from the Centers for Disease Control were there. They even have the cat, who died.

What about St. Charles? What additional precautions has the hospital implemented knowing they have a man there with a highly contagious disease that wiped out a third of Europe's population about 500 years ago?

Yes, antibiotics can greatly minimize the danger to those infected with the plague today. Yet, this guy was still in critical condition on Friday, almost a week after the story broke.

It is harder to get information these days on health-related issues, but it does not mean that the local media should throw up its hands and say, oh well.

But, as struggling newspapers scale back coverage to match understaffed TV and radio stations, we get less news that's fit to report.

Obviously, it means that we can find the news we want on the internet.

1 comment:

  1. The Bulletin's editors probably decided this story was too "negative" to report. We can't have people thinking there's plague in "paradise."